Using The Rules To Your Advantage

There are reasons I’ve avoided genres … and reasons I’m having second thoughts. Here’s an argument why.

L. G. Estrella

Over time, each genre develops its own rules and customs. Identifying these rules and using them to your advantage can make your life as a writer much easier.

The rules and customs that govern a genre range from the subtle to the famously cliche. In the case of something like fantasy, readers have come to expect things like magic and adventure, and they will generally react positively to writers who can deliver those things. However, these rules and customs can also be restrictive. There is a reason that so many fantasy stories read very similarly. It is because too many stories adhere slavishly to the customs of the genre at the expense of telling a good story.

But what sort of rules and customs are there? If we look at how stories are written, we can divide a story into several components: plot, characters, settings, ideas/themes, and technical composition. Rules…

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