Movie or Bestseller?

Do you dream of having one of your books made into a Hollywood movie? If so, this is a good bit of research you might want to consider. 

Do you know which writing genre is made into the most movies? 

Here’s what my research turned up, starting with #1:

Sci-fi

Horror

Action

Comedy

Drama 

Fantasy

Thriller

Adventure

War

Mystery

Musical

When I began writing, I tried my hand at screenplays with some success. I wrote four comedies and two dramas before I threw in the towel.

It was a good experience , but the writing process is unlike writing for the reading market.

Take another look at the list. There is one genre missing. It’s the one—if I were guessing—that would have been at the top of the list. 

That’s right. Romance came in fifteenth.

Don’t tell that to Nicholas Sparks. I’ve watched several of his movies over the past five years or so.

Just goes to show you.

Don’t believe everything you read.

Things to Consider

So, you have the writing bug and are faced with a big decision: “What genre should I write in?”

Genres fulfill reader expectations. 

Readers buy certain books because they have enjoyed similar stories in the past. Reading these novels is like sitting down with an old friend. These books give them a sense of belonging.

Here are some things to consider:

  1. Write about what you like to read. If you are drawn to a particular genre, your writing will show your enthusiasm. 
  1. Choose a genre that is read by the most people. Currently, most people are reading Romance, followed by a close second of Action/Adventure.

3)    Having said that, you could choose a more narrowly-read

        genre, so that your writing will “stand out” among fewer 

        authors. The least read fiction is labeled Literary Fiction

        which focuses on the human condition and is more

        concerned with the inner lives of characters and themes 

        rather than plot.

4)   Choose a fairly new genre in which readers are least familiar.

       Here are the names of some: Cashier Memoirs, Bitpunk, 

       Twitter Novels, Lucid Fiction, Combinatorial, and

       Hmong- American.  **I know next to nothing about 

       these. However, I will research them in the weeks to come

       and feature them on  this blog. Stay tuned…

5)   Choose your audience, first. Perhaps you’d like to focus on

       Young Adults. Then, choose a sub-genre: focus on mysteries,

       Dinosaurs, Monsters, Sports, Baby-sitters Clubs, School-

       related, Young Romance, and so on.

6)   Do you have a message you’d like to get out? For years,

       now, I have focused on “Stories of Forgiveness.”

7)   Hot sellers. Lately, I see that a lot of authors have chosen to

       write about young men or women who have inherited 

       businesses from family members. Their challenge is to learn the

       business and win the heart of an adversary.  Another big one

       is The Cowboy Who (Did this or that). Amish stories

       were big for quite a few years, but seem to be dwindling a

       little, lately. Last year, I read at least five or six books about 

       “Marriages of Convenience” which, of course, turned into

       the most popular: Romance!

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it does tell us this: there are many, many, things to consider when you are starting out!!!!

The Art in Writing

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They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

And words, skillfully put together, paint word pictures. 

Just how detailed should a writer’s word picture be?

Should settings and other descriptions be in-depth and intricate? Should they follow the example of realism, like the famous artists Jean-Francois Millet and Honore-Victorin Daumier and, thus create a word painting that “looks” real—like it would in real life?

Or should descriptions lend themselves to the more abstract, placing more of an emphasis on visual sensation, as did Picasso and Van Gogh?

My personal opinion, is that this is a matter of writing style— and as yours evolves, you will find that you prefer one over the other. 

But, remember:

Readers, also, will have a preference as to which authors they like to read. Some love to read flowing prose that uses up word count with lots of descriptive elements. Others may prefer minimal descriptive words, freeing them to fill in the gaps with their own imaginations.

Myself? Well, I find that I prefer to write—and read—somewhere in the middle. Give me enough description so that I understand the “big picture,” but not so much detail that it slows me down. I want to focus more on the action—the story—and let my mind fill in the descriptive blanks. I’m an abstract/realist.

Some genres may use more description than others. For instance, Fantasy and Sci-fi need more detailed descriptions because the writer is creating a world totally unlike our own earth. A large part of what makes those genres so interesting IS the description of the settings and characters in those alternate worlds.

Romance novels also use a lot of description because the reader has to find the characters desirable, so they will want to keep reading to find out if the “guy gets the girl” in the end. Thus, the reader must believe they are worthy of pursuing and being pursued.

So, should you paint your picture using a thousand words?  Probably not.

It is fun—also a challenge—to see how well you can describe something using a minimal amount of carefully-chosen words.

When you do this, you spark the imaginations of your readers so that they can actively participate in interpreting the word pictures you paint.

 

Researching Genre Romance

 

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Shopping for the perfect valentine for my husband was an almost impossible task. No one card could have possibly included everything I wanted to say.

I thought about writing my own valentine, like we often did when we were kids.

That got me thinking about writing romance novels.

I was curious. Just what is genre ROMANCE?

Here’s the breakdown:

Historical Romance– story takes place in the past.

Contemporary Romance– story takes place in the present. (Humorous Romance and Romantic Suspense are often listed as sub-genres.)

Regency Romance- This is shorter than Historical Romance, set in the Regency period and emphasizes society and dialog.

Futuristic, Fantasy and Paranormal- These stories take place on other planets or in imaginary lands, or involve creatures such as pixies, ghosts, werewolves, or genies.

Time Travel Romance– Romances involving time travel.

Gothic Romance– In the past, this was a separate sub-genre, but currently most of these are being published as Romantic Suspense.

Romantic Suspense- Stories with plots involving drug dealers, serial killers, smugglers, etc.

REMEMBER: If you write in another genre, you will probably find that your story is much more interesting when you infuse your books with a little romance here and there…