Writing Tip – Reinventing Genre Conventions

When you’re writing your novel, obviously it needs a genre and you need to know about that genre.

I recently edited a YA novel for a client which was an urban fantasy about werewolves. Werewolves are a horror convention that’s been in literature and history for hundreds, probably thousands of years. So have wizards, witches, wands and broomsticks but Harry Potter has never been known as ‘another book about wizards’. Rowling completely reinvented the conventions, made her own culture and mixed it into an urban setting. Same with twilight and vampires.

When writing check your novel for genre conventions and ask yourself what can you do to make it fresh and exciting. Research the history of the convention or see what other writers have done with it. You will have most success with creating a culture. Create a history and society of your own that is original to you. When you do that you will have a book that will never be known as ‘another book about…’ but it will be known by the title you give it.

Research your genre. Research your subject. Then breath new life into it. Make it your own.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions!

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