There’s a big difference between writing well in a genre and writing well in various genres. No matter how experienced and skilled in one genre a writer is, they might face a serious challenge after deciding to try a new genre.
However, when it comes to a tough choice of sticking to a well-known genre or trying something new, I definitely recommend doing the second. The more genres you master, the more experienced you’ll become. Moreover, you’ll improve your own writing style and strengthen your skills this way.
After all, which writer doesn’t want to become a better one?
When you decide to try yourself in a new genre, you might find yourself stuck, unable to decide where to start. Don’t worry, I can help you with that. Here are some simple but useful tips for those who want to start writing in a new genre.
1. Research well.
Often a new genre scares us because we haven’t understood it yet. This can be fixed easily by researching thoroughly. The more time you can spend on it, the better it is for you. Read articles about the features of a chosen genre. You can also find some bloggers who try writing in it and
get their advice, and, of course, don’t forget to read books written in such genres. While articles and others’ experience would only give you a theoretical knowledge of the features of that genre, books are basically examples of how exactly do these features work. If you want to, you can make a list of the most noticeable or important features which will make it easier for you to implement them in your writing.
2. Ask others for help.
Sometimes even if we do good research, we can still miss something. That’s why it’s important not to limit yourself to its results but also to ask the opinion of
others. Maybe they’ll be able to notice some features you’ve missed or give you some useful tips.
Moreover, sometimes it’s important to ask other people, not about the features only.
Ask them to describe a certain genre briefly to know how exactly others understand a text written in that genre. Most likely, you’ll receive some good and short descriptions of the genre that will help you to understand it better.
3. Define the rhetorical elements of a genre.
In order for your writing to be good, you need to find out what are the rhetorical elements of a chosen genre. Even if you’ve learned its features,
it isn’t enough: you need to understand the audience you’re writing for and the purpose of your writing.
For example, if this genre is usually preferred by young adults, there’s no point in making your writing too complex and full of heavy philosophy. In this case, it’s better to focus on how to make your audience relate to what you’re writing and maybe to include some references that will be easy for them to find and understand.
the purpose is very important too. You need to know not only what you’re writing but also why you are writing it. Every text has to deliver some kind of message and if this message is unclear for you, there’s a big chance your readers won’t understand it too.
Don’t worry, writing usually has a message even if you don’t know it yet. Think about it and try to understand it.
This will not only help you deliver the message clearly but also will make things like writing summary easier.
4. Try writing in this genre.
After you gather all the important information you can start practicing writing. It’s good to write something small like a vignette or a little novel before you move on to something bigger.
Try doing so even if you think you’re not good in small forms: after all, you’re writing it for practice, not for publishing. Try to remember all the distinct features of a genre and use them in your writing, not forgetting about the purpose and the audience. After you finish, show your work to other people and listen to everything they have to say.
There are many ways to receive feedback for your writing experiments. You can turn to your friends for help if you feel like you’re not ready to demonstrate your texts to the world. You can also publish it on various writing forums, where other writers will be able to give you feedback
based on their experience and knowledge. Either way, it’s important to remember that even if the feedback is not good, it’s okay. It’s completely normal for your first few attempts to be flawed, as you’re trying your skills in something new and unfamiliar. The success will come with practice, so don’t worry!
I wish you good luck and a lot of inspiration!
About the author – Jacob Chambless is an educator at Jacksonville University. He is always ready to help students, sharing his experience and tips on particular subjects. Writing is his passion and he wants to share his knowledge with others.