Picking A Genre

I am often asked what genre I will write when it is time to carve out my debut novel. This question is asked at the beginning of every semester, and I never have a straight answer. My taste in literature extends beyond a single-niche interest: I enjoy writing historical fiction, literary fiction, and fantasy. Picking a genre, fortunately, is not something I must do today. I have a year left of school, and as a stay at home father, with two kids under two, my time is better put to use experimenting. One of my new year’s resolutions is to publish two short-form (flash fiction) pieces in a literary magazine. This way, my degree and career launch simultaneously.

Picking a genre is like picking a wife, you can only know which is the one, after dating a few different ideas.

The truth is I do not know, yet, the genre of my first novel. Picking a genre is like picking a wife, you can only really know which is the one, after dating a few different ideas. In keeping with the dating metaphor, if I had a type, it would be between literary and historical fiction—I read them the most. My influencers are the great modernist authors. As a result, my craft tends to lean existential.

Life Update: My last year of school began yesterday. I am taking 15 credit hours this semester; 12 credit hours are writing courses. I have a lot of work to do, but I am excited; I love school! Our little girl is a week old now, and our son won’t stop giving her kisses. Our home, right now, is so full of love, I can hardly believe the state of affairs our country is in; my wife and I are enjoying an other-worldly season of love.

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6 responses to “Picking A Genre”

  1. My first book is a MG fantasy- glad I made it to the 5th draft

    1. When revising, what craft reference book do you use?

      1. Well, actually I have used my dad as an editor- he was an English Major. Don’t really know what book I use though.

      2. I recommend, The Elements of Style, by Strunk & White. It is the simplest go to style guide, and will be a blessing to revising your prose.

        No doubt, your father knows of it. All English majors use it as their ‘writing’ bible lol.

      3. On my 5th draft. I actually have read out some of my drafts out loud and was able to notice things that needed to be changed.

        There was a point in my 1st draft where my characters took over- I just let them, and wouldn’t have imagined some of the things that do happen in my book.

      4. Yes, reading out loud is one of the best steps to take, when revising.

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