Wednesday, November 23, 2016


A question recently asked by N. R. Williams' in a recent blog post. I thought I would answer it here, and not just because I won a place in the Parallels: Felix Was Here Anthology, but because I co-host a writing challenge called Write…Edit…Publish Blog Post, with Denise Covey. 

The WEP is a flash fiction challenge open to all writers, and we work hard to come up with a schedule of contests that offer just that, an opportunity for participants to try something new.

When most of us start out, we choose a genre and concentrate our efforts in that arena. My first choice was mystery. I thought mysteries would be my main calling, but then I found the need to branch out and found writing contests the solution.

Each writing challenge is an opportunity, not only for expression but it's a chance to learn and open yourself to other possibilities. You'll not only stretch your imagination but you'll meet a new network of people. Writers helping other writers is the key to success and, yes, even that necessary evil of marketing becomes easier as you introduce yourself to new readers via a new genre.

Have you tested the waters - tried a new genre?

Did you submit to the IWSG Anthlogoy?

Or do you limit yourself, convinced you can only 'write what you know'?

Jump in and open yourself to creativity.

Challenge yourself!

You will never, ever regret it!

To help you consider a different genre
here's a list of the tips or essentials for writing

Science Fiction, Romance, Horror or Scary,
Mysteries and Fantasy.

 1.   Science fiction is often based on scientific principles and technology.

2.   Science fiction may make predictions about life in the future.

3.   Science fiction often deals with aliens or with life on other worlds.

4.   Science fiction can comment on important issues in society.

  1.   A hero and a heroine to fall in love

  2.   A problem that creates conflict and tension between them and threatens to keep them apart

  3.   A developing love that is so special it comes about only once in a lifetime

  4.   A resolution in which the problem is solved and the couple is united.


(last month's Parallels post by Crystal Collier)

1.  The setting: your word choices and imagery should depict an ambiance that sets our nerves on end.
2.  A protagonist you like: a likable character builds the tension. 
3.  Foreshadowing: give hints, snippets that tell us something sinister is coming
4.  Building tension: up the stakes with things that really matter (like people's lives). 
5.  Surprise: that twist that changes the entire story.


1.   Characters that are engaging entertaining, and possibly, seem as though they could be the villain. 

    2.   An Intriguing Plot: a ‘hook’ that gains the reader’s interest and pulls them along with the story.

    3.  Clues and red herrings to keep the reader guessing.

    4.   Action and adventure to keep the story moving.

    5.   A healthy dose of suspense that allows the reader to connect more with the characters.


1.   Plot: almost always a natural serial sequence i.e. a hero’s journey of separation, quest, and reconciliation/salvation.

2.   Action: often based on traditional roles and archetypes rather than on personal.

3.   Setting: often medieval or magical, but can be urban or modern and often emblematic and symbolic rather than literal.

4.   Characters: wizards, witches, elves, fairies, gnomes, dwarves, goblins, trolls, sprites, angels, and devils, etc. or humans with their traits.


Also, Christine Rains recently posted a blog on the 5 Reasons to Write Paranormal. Check it out HERE!

If one of these is your genre - what characteristic  do you feel is most important to make it work?

Tell us your genre, and if you haven't yet attempted a new one - if and when you do, what would it be?

For more information on each subject, just click the title.

In my story for Parallels, Ever-Ton, 
global warming was a real thing.

IT IS a real thing.


  1. Great article, Yolanda. Thanks for taking the time to share your expertise. I've tried a variety of genre with short stories but I'm not at a point in my career yet to venture into longer pieces outside of my prefered crime genre. I think I need to get good at that first :)

    1. Thanks, Nicola!
      I cheated and borrowed much from the real experts! :) Funny, at least to me, at how similar the elements are. Just a little tweak here and there and you've got something completely different. Truthfully, I should probably stick to one thing, instead of trying to be a 'jack of all trades' but I like the adventure too much. You, on the other hand, are a master of crime stories! Hats off to you! Thanks for stopping by, and Happy Writing

  2. Reading a variety of genres also helps one branch out and write in new genres.

    I've written in NA and two genres of non-fiction. Even with non-fiction, the same elements that pull the reader into the narrative.

    1. Hi, Diane:
      I should have gone with non-fiction too, but darn the post was getting long. But I agree the elements are similar and successful when the reader is involved!

  3. "A healthy dose of suspense that allows the reader to connect more with the characters.... I would go as far as to say that caring about the characters is number 1 in any story.

    Have fun tomorrow :)


    1. Hi, Blue:
      I agree 100%
      You too, Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. Great descriptions of the main genres. It all begins with an appealing character, someone we can care about instantly. I began my career writing a coming of age story. Then I switched to suspense because I love suspense. However, I'm determined to one day write a children's story. Guess I better get to it.

    1. It's fun to stretch. Thanks, Joylene, yes, time to get to work. I'm listening, honest! :)

  5. Excellent descriptions and advice on settings etc. Thanks for the link to this blog.

    1. You're welcome Nas, thanks for visiting!

  6. Hi Yolanda! This is jam packed and interesting. Great breakdown on genres, sort of fits in with my post on storytelling. It's great to branch out into different genres. And I have no ideas yet, or maybe a little idea, what to write for Utopian Dreams. Hmmmmmmmmm...

    1. Got it written. LOL just woke up one morning and there it was! Hi, Denise, thanks for stopping by. Off to get some work done, as Joylene suggests! Enough blog surfing. :)

  7. Yes I agree about social issues being woven into a story. I do it but not in a preachy way. Often they are issues I do not agree with but the story dictates I use them in a positive way.

    1. Preaching is for preachers, I think we, as writers simply want to educate as well as entertain. Thanks, Stephen!


Your comments are most appreciated!