“My story is in a new kind of genre. There is some romance and little historical and some science fiction all mixed together in a coming of age novel.
Consider what it is that most interests you and the kind of writing you get most excited about. Don’t limit yourself to the kind of writing that fits in with your background or learning. Look at the way the story starts to percolate in your mind. That is your first clue.
Once you’ve selected your genre you have the most important step: research that genre. There are certain conventions in writing that you must provide to your reader. Every genre is a promise. In a romance the promise is he and she will meet at the beginning of the book and be in a happy, committed relationship at the end. If you have her die on the final page you are breaking the promise you gave in writing a romance. In suspense you are promising the reader that there will be an emotional experience where life and limb are challenged. If the bad guy is caught 1/3 of the way through and you proceed to go in to the main characters childhood [without any further threat of the bad guy returning] you have broken the promise to the reader.
Within the formula there is always some room for a SKILLFUL adjustment [notice I said skillful], but you must master the convention before changing it.
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