Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Great (Genre) Expectations

 This Week's Topic: How to Analyze Genre Expectations of Your Genre

Pithy answer? Read in your genre. Then read in the adjacent genres. Then read the genre/authors that frequently get lumped into your genre by salesmen and gatekeepers only to wind up flamed by readers. What are the similarities? Differences? What themes, tropes, and archetypes have endured? Which ones have changed? 

Think you've got a handle on it? Great. Go read a dozen or so review sites for your genre (or watch Booktube reviews, or both). Make it a mix of review styles. Find those that have one reviewer and those that have multiple contributors. The reviews of value can pinpoint what works and what doesn't for the reviewer. Lots of times it's a plot issue, poor pacing, or flat characters that leave a reviewer feeling less than love for a book. But if an author hasn't delivered on the genre expectation, the reviewer will notice and decry it. It'll be a reoccurring objection in assorted reviews about the book.  

Feeling like you've got a clue now? Wonderful. At this point, you should be able to sort reader expectations from reader entitlement. Test yourself. Do a web search, and make sure Reddit results are in there too (opinionated avid readers abound there). Can you spot personal preferences over genre expectations? Group-think and trends versus genre expectations? 

Have you noticed it yet?
Genre expectations aren't that numerous.
Regardless of genre.

You're confident at this point, aren't you? Excellent. Now, be bold and ask the question on your socials. Once you get through quality-control expectations, you could find some succinctly-worded gems. 

Of course, asking for opinions could cause you to rue the day you ever followed my advice. 😇