A to Z Challenge asks bloggers to post every day except Sundays during the month of April on a thematic topic. This year, I’ll be covering writing genres.
Commercial fiction is also called genre fiction because books of this type fall into categories such as western, gothic, romance, historical, mystery and horror.
- Sentence structure, vocabulary, and pacing are less complicated than literary fiction. Avoid the philosophic questions that readers ponder over and make your writing generally easier to read. Here’s an article on how to write a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. Do the opposite.
- In literary fiction, readers work hard to garner the moral of the story. In commercial fiction, the character, story, plotting does that work.
- You are writing a story that will sell. It’s not for family and friends and to unburden your soul.
- The main character is someone you could have a cuppa with. S/he’s likable and flawed. In literary fiction, s/he will challenge your understanding of the human condition before you even get the coffee delivered to you.
- Commercial fiction can answer the same deep-dive questions asked in literary fiction, but the answer comes not through narrative but through characters and plot.
- Know the guidelines for your particular genre and follow them in your story. That’s the most predictable way to write a ‘commercially successful’ story.
- The less “special” your story is, the more commercially viable. Why? Because more people will relate to it.
- Be a storyteller, not an artist.
- Show don’t tell.
- Be yourself.
- Girl on the Train
- Gone Girl
- The Help
- Life of Pi
- Memoirs of a Geisha
- The Shining
More C Genres:
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, and the thriller, To Hunt a Sub. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning. The sequel to To Hunt a Sub, Twenty-four Days, is scheduled for May 2017. Click to follow its progress.