Imagine your place on the bookshelf of the future

Jess Richards, author of City of Circles

There are established conventions within each genre, (such as crime, sci-fi, romance etc.) and it’s well worth researching these genres to see what’s expected. Once you know the rules, you can decide whether to follow them, or subvert them. In choosing a specific genre or style it’s also worth considering how you think – do you prefer to follow rules, or experiment? Do you plan everything in advance, or are you spontaneous? Playing to your strengths instead of trying to make yourself ‘fit’ will help your writing be authentic. It might be that you prefer to let the character(s) guide your writing rather than choosing a specific genre. You could do some exercises to help you know them deeply – writing a biography which includes their personal possessions, problems and secrets, or experimenting with the ‘voice’ of your main character(s) and the rhythms of their language. Allow time for this experimentation – no writing is wasted. Once the character’s voice is right, you can let them tell their story, in their own way.

About Jess Richards

Jess Richards was born in Wales in 1972 and studied Creative Writing at Sussex University in 2010. Her debut novel, SNAKE ROPES, was shortlisted for the 2012 Costa First Novel …

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