Genre Play - writercize #23 (A to Z 7)

Tackling a huge challenging topic today, perhaps too large in conjunction with the A to Z Challenge, but what's a reward without risk, right?

The G topic of the day here at writercize is "Genre," as in playing with genres.  

A very wise writer I know who runs a blog at The Writing Nut recommends that beginning authors put some work into determining the genre(s) to focus on in the process of outlining and writing the story.  For those with a finished manuscript ready for an agent, she advises that the author understand the accurate genre before sending it off for review.  That helps focus on the right agent and give the author credibility in the literary world.

Naturally, for many beginning writers, picking a genre can be as trying as finding a needle in a haystack.  How difficult is it to focus one's writing, not only into a coherent and interesting story, but also into a recognized literary genre?  Mind-bogglingly tough!  The good news is, each story you write will be different, so there will be time to try different genres.

Today, I invite you to try three genres on for size.  Test them out and see which one fits you best.  Then keep practicing the craft until you find what feels right.

writing exercise:  Take the very simple premise of boy meets girl.  Now, write three variations on how boy meets girl using the following genres:
  • autobiographical fiction
  • historical romance
  • science fiction

(Click "read more" for writercizer sample response.  None quite fit my comfort level, but it'll be fun trying them out!)
writercizer response:

Autobiographical Fiction:
Standing at the counter, I could catch his swagger out of the corner of my eye, and my heart picked up a beat.  We had hardly spoken two words, but there was a definite interest to get to know him better.  We tangoed around conversation for months, darting in and out of hallways a bar off beat.
Finally, one afternoon, we sat across from each other at a lunch table, grabbed a bag of cookies and a cappuccino and began to talk.  Day turned to night as we sat at that table and discussed culture, travel, art, literature, music, sports, politics, our childhoods.  By the time we were finished, hours had passed like minutes and I knew that even though our minds processed the world differently and our passions were not parallel, he felt like home.

Historical Romance:
The crowd roared as the jousting began.  Each man wore chain mail and heavy armor and they circled with the bravado of a Spanish bull, but Delilah thought she could see a glimmer of fear in the slighter man's eyes.  The metallic shell could hide much, his heart, lungs, his physique, but it could not hide his eyes or his soul.  She kissed the beaded necklace hanging around her delicate neck and murmured a little prayer that he would not only win, but notice her watching him.  Just as she let go of the beads and allowed them to fall, he turned his gaze towards her and for a moment their eyes locked.  At that moment, she knew he would not only win the joust, he would win her heart as well.

Science Fiction:
It was final exam week at Bezel Union and all of the students were rushing through the halls from one classroom to the next with one eye on their e-Notes and the other on the time.  True, in dire straits it was possible to pause time for an extra few minutes of studying, but the students knew that if too many of them used time control at once, the planet could jar enough off regular rotations and change their fate, so they tried to be cognizant of their actions.

In the hustle and bustle, Jezbella and Rychard didn't see one another turning the corner and accidentally brushed arms.  The contact sent an immediate tingle down each one's spine and they paused a moment to look at one another.  

Jezbella could feel her cheeks purple, the tell-tale sign of love, while Rychard's hands began to pulsate, a frustratingly obvious side effect of carnal attraction.  

"Hi, I'm Rychard," he said.  "Meet me for coffee in an hour?"

Jezbella could only nod.


  1. Wow! You did a great job with each genre! I'm going to save this exercise for another day because my brain is fried right now. I need all the help with finding a genre I can get!

    Congratulations on your blog awards! I was going to give you the 'One Lovely Blog Award' but guess I waited too long! You deserve it as your blog is so lovely!

  2. Thanks Brianna! On multiple accounts. One can never have too many awards, right? It always feels great to be recognized. Keep your eyes open for a post coming up this week on "K" day yourself! ;)

    This one was really, really hard for me because I wasn't crazy about any of my answers, so I appreciate the support. I was feeling insecure about getting the genres wrong, so I tried to go for pretty wide genres; I know that they can get really specific, especially within fantasy and sci fi.

  3. My goodness Alana, these are great! The words you chose flow so beautifully; all stories are very romantic. I can't wait to get started on this one tonight.

  4. Autobiographical Fiction:

    Twenty-nine ninety-nine. Sixty-nine ninety-nine. Silver, black, blue. 400 unlimited minutes, 600 unlimited minutes. Unlimited texts, free night and weekends.
    "Nothing is easy, everything is hard at first before it becomes easy. Have your schematics ready by Thursday. Remember to label all inputs and outputs. Please turn them in to Alvaro, our lab assistant back there" announced professor Allison.
    As I directed my gaze away from the AT&T Wireless web site and focused in on the lab assistant, I could feel my pupils responding at the sight of such handsome and masculine representation of the male form. In a matter of seconds, I took in the quintessential "tall, dark, and handsome" forever changing the course of my battered love life.
    still working on the historical, and having fun with it! Will it tomorrow, hopefully!


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