Know Your Genre

So you’ve read dozens and dozens of science fiction novels, fantasy novels, or insert-preferred-reading-here. You should know how to write one right? Or at least a short story?

That was what I’ve always thought.  They say write what you know and if you read as much as I do, you would assume I’d know my chosen Genre inside and out. I write both Science Fiction and Fantasy but despite my being immersed in the two since birth, (My dad saw the original Star Wars A New Hope 14 times at the drive in when it came out) I am finding I still have a lot to learn.

One reason it is important to know your chosen genre better than your own name is obvious.  The whole “write what you know” edict. If you don’t know anything about it you can’t write it, or at least you can’t write it and expect it to be very good.

Another reason makes it self known when you try to send in a submission.  Some genres have sub-genres. You don’t send a High Fantasy Story to someone who only accepts Sword and Sorcery. Don’t just assume you know the difference either. Look it up.  (I have made this mistake before and felt really stupid later.)  The more information you have on what you want to write can only enrich what you are doing.

Never stop learning and you never stop improving.

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