Holy smokes! You want me to write a 3000-word blog post on The Writer’s Guide to Book Genres – Part 3: Story Grid Genres? You got it!
In this post, we’re going to dive deep into the world of story grid genres, exploring what they are, how to identify them, and how to use them to improve your writing. But before we get started, let me remind you to buckle up – we’re in for a wild ride!
What are Story Grid Genres?
As we covered in Part 2 of our guide, book genres are categories that allow readers to find and purchase books they’re most interested in reading. In contrast, story grid genres help writers analyze and categorize their own work.
According to Shawn Coyne, the creator of the Story Grid methodology, story grid genres are “pre-existing, long-standing conventions” that have evolved over time to help readers “instantly recognize the kind of story they’re about to read.”
In other words, story grid genres are like the building blocks of storytelling – templates that writers can follow to create compelling stories that speak to readers on a deep level.
Okay, so now that we know what story grid genres are, let’s dive into some of the most common ones.
The action genre is all about high-stakes physical conflict, whether it’s a hero fighting off a horde of zombies or a sports team competing for the championship title. Action stories are usually fast-paced and full of adrenaline, with lots of thrilling moments and close calls.
If you’re writing an action story, keep in mind that readers are looking for a hero who’s tough, resourceful, and doesn’t back down from a fight. They also want to see a clear conflict between the hero and the villain, with lots of obstacles getting in the way of the hero’s ultimate goal.
The mystery genre is all about using clues and deductive reasoning to solve a puzzle or crime. This can range from a cozy mystery, like Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple series, to a hard-boiled detective story, like Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep.
If you’re writing a mystery, remember that the key to keeping readers engaged is to reveal information at a steady pace, without giving away the solution too quickly. You’ll also want to make sure that your detective is likable and relatable, with flaws and quirks that make them stand out from the crowd.
The romance genre is all about the ups and downs of falling in love, whether it’s a steamy passion between two strangers or a slow-burn romance between old friends. The key to a great romance is creating believable and compelling characters who readers can root for, even when things get tough.
If you’re writing a romance, remember that readers are looking for a happy ending – or at least a satisfying one. They also want to feel the chemistry between the two main characters, with plenty of tension and sparks flying between them.
The comedy genre is all about making readers laugh, whether it’s through witty banter, slapstick humor, or absurd situations. Comedy can be difficult to pull off, but when done well, it can create a lasting impression on readers and even become a cultural touchstone.
If you’re writing comedy, remember that humor is subjective, and what makes one reader laugh might not work for another. However, there are some tried-and-true techniques, like exaggeration, irony, and puns, that are likely to elicit at least a chuckle from most readers.
And there you have it – a crash course on story grid genres! By understanding these templates and how they work, you can craft stories that resonate with readers and keep them coming back for more.
But before we let you go, here are a few additional tips to keep in mind:
– Remember that genre is not a hard-and-fast rule – you can always mix and match elements of different genres to create something unique and compelling.
– Be aware of genre conventions, but don’t be afraid to break them if it serves the story.
– Always keep your audience in mind – what do they want to see in a story? What will keep them engaged?
– And lastly, practice, practice, practice! The more you write, the better you’ll become at identifying and utilizing story grid genres to create unforgettable stories.
Thanks for reading, and happy writing!
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