Monday, May 3, 2010

Reading in Genre

Progress Report: Okay. I'm a slow reader. And have homework for anatomy & physiology 2. Working on #mayno rewrite and sekrit novel. 10 books was too much. I'll be lucky if I finish 5, but I'll get the 10 read in May. I will have Wren to the Rescue done by tomorrow and close to having the Particle Physics book done too. Both are short, some of the shortest books on my list. But I'm okay with it. At least I'm reading.
Image shows things from Physics book. See physics can be fun!

To continue my week on reading topics...

Read in the Genre You Write

The reason for this can seem rather obvious. It helps to know what others in the same genre have done and to get an idea of what is expected. Sure, there is an interest at some point in being inventive and original but there are still certain aspects expected in each genre. How can you know what you're doing if you've never read in the genre? (I have a different answer for the next blog post, so stay tuned for that because I break this rule.) Most of the time, the answer is simple. You can't.

Let's go into this a little more. Why read in the genre you're writing?

1.) Most genre fiction has certain tropes, aspects and styles expected from writers. When someone picks up say, a mystery, they execpt to read a certain type of story. Just because the main character is a detective, that doesn't mean it is a mystery novel. There are other factors to take into consideration. For example, add paranormal elemtents as an important part of the story, such as vampires, werewolves, etc... the novel is more likely to be in fantasy/sci-fi (depending on how the book store sets up their shelves) than mystery. Wizard detectives are in fantasy/sci-fi, as another example.
2.) Reading in general is a good tool to learn about writing. Whether in the same genre, or not, there are common writing elements that authors use. Being able to see them in work is useful. Some of the things about writing in general that can be learned are foreshadowing, dream sequences, point of view, and many others.
3.) In genre reading shows what others have done in the past. This might sound like a repetition, but it's one that bears extra consideration. Let's say you have a vampire novel (which many people do). Reading other novels that are already published shows what types of vampire lore has been used, the different character elements that determine villains versus heroes and many other aspects. It can help because you know how to make yours different because you know what has already been used. Same goes with elves, witches, fairies, detectives, and many other types of characters/creatures.

There are a few other reasons but I don't want to go on for too long. As usual, I leave you with a questions.

Do you read in the genre you write? Why?


The Alliterative Allomorph said...

I try to read in lots of different genres - I think it's useful to see how other genres tackle things - it can always inspire you to do something different in your own genre, I find. When I say different, I don't mean alter your genre, I mean find other techniques and strategies.

PS, why haven't I been getting your feed? I've been following you for ages. Any ideas how to get it in my blog roll?

Don’t miss out on my contest!

Dawn Embers said...

Thanks for the comment. I'll talk about other genres in another post.

Wish I could help with the feed thing. I know nothing. I'm not very technology savvy, to be honest. Hope you figure it out and I'll check out the contest.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I do read in the genre I write. But I read in all genre's. And it reflects in what I write.

I think it adds a depth and a refreshing twist to what could be considered formula.

You have a lovely blog, showing the obvious effort and creativity you put into it, Roland

Dawn Embers said...

Thanks, Roland. I really appreciate the compliment.

I also read in different genres but it's nice to see what other writers do.