There’s only ONE genre in fiction… 

“Don’t classify me, read me. I’m a writer, not a genre.”
Carlos Fuentes 

Making a choice is all about marketing nowadays. To choose means to limit your options, but in the same time – the opportunity to catch an agent or publisher, because when they are ‘buying’ your novel – they are buying a platform for the future books in the similar genre, they are buying ‘sameness’ (or analogy) and they are hoping that you are going to stick to one genre.


  • you look more professional, because you know your genre. You are the Unicorn of Creativity in this particular genre!
  • you can skip the hard choices and endless nights of insomnia ‘how would it be IF’. Just write your thing!
  • you can pick the marketable genre: what sells?
  • it connects the group of people to a special niche. Yay! They can become ‘your people’ = readers. 


  • you don’t give a shit what your ‘gut’ tells you. In general you lost all the fun and kinda programmed ‘to type’ the books in ONE brandy-trendy genre because …yeah, it’s worth it.  

Do you know what’s gonna happen if you won’t listen to your gut?
Some hard-boiled-shit or a jango-of-diarrhea-in-progress.

  • it paralyze you and you are making excuses why you can’t/or don’t wanna write. You are forgetting how it feels when the words are flowing. Ahhh…
  • each genre has its own set of general rules and expectations. Do you need more rules in your life?

Should we focus on the genre at all? Good writing is good writing. It’s usually the audience and their expectations that ‘define’ a genre. A reader want a story with only 3 components: human + the world + the role of a human in the world. And don’t worry, a reader will tell you what kind of the genre it is…

Matt Haig said “there’s only ONE genre in the fiction, and it is called – BOOK.”
Write a book! Forget the rules!

Of course, do not expect that everybody will love your book, do not beg  “pleeeaasee, read/like my novel…there’s a mystery, comedy, horror, thriller, fantasy, sci-fi and young adult love there”. All those genres are so different. Mmmm, do not confuse your reader! 

Ouch, I feel this is EXACTLY what I’m writing haha
All genres in one book?!

It might be a mistake, but it might be refreshing too. Who knows!? We are living in the free world of ‘dude, you are born this way! it’s okay to be different’, but still we have to follow step-by-step-hardcore rules to become a ‘different’ one. 

Why we can’t say – write what your heart desires, write if you love it, if you feel joy?
Why we have to measure – it will never sells!!?
Why we have to preach – ‘we know better’?

x x x 

“I detest the whole concept of genre. A piece of fiction is either a good story well told or it isn’t. The supposed dichotomy between “literary fiction” and “popular fiction” is ridiculous. Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Mailer, did not have serious literary intent? As writers of serious literary intent, they didn’t want to be “popular,” meaning sell a lot of books? They wanted to be unpopular and have terrible sales figures to prove they were “serious”?

I say this is bullshit and I say the hell with it. “Genre,” if it means anything at all, is a restrictive commercial requirement. “Westerns” must be set in the Old West. “Mysteries” must have a detective solving a crime, usually murder. “Nurse Novels” must have a nurse. And so forth.

In the strictly literary sense, neither science fiction nor fantasy are “genres.” They are anti-genres. They can be set anywhere and any-when except in the mimetic here and now or a real historical period. They are the liberation of fiction from the constraints of “genre” in an absolute literary sense.” Norman Spinrad

x x x

So let me ask you: Do you know in what book genre your new book should be?

‘You never learn how to write a novel. You just learn how to write a novel you are writing’. Gene Wolfe (from the book ‘The View from the Cheap Seats’, N. Gaiman)

x x x

Here’s an article to check – ‘Let’s talk about genre’ the conversation between Neil Gaiman and Kazuo Ishiguro 

Next post – Book Review ‘Blind once” (Blindgång), Swedish. Jorn Lier Horst


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  1. November 14, 2018

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