Thoughts on Genre Conventions (#TheSundayPost)

Posted January 16, 2022 in Life Updates / 8 Comments

the sunday post

The Latest in my life

This week hasn’t been too eventful. I was quite productive at work and finally managed to update the displays in our literacy classrooms. I’ve not had much energy in the evenings so haven’t done anything exciting at home. I quite like weeks like that after I’ve been so busy.


I had a meeting with my local writers’ group on Zoom on Thursday. We had a really interesting discussion about genre. We talked about the essential ingredients of each genre, how many conventions you can change without disappointing the reader, and the success of cross-overs versus single-genre books.

I enjoy reading and writing fiction that blurs the boundaries between genres, particularly fairytales retold in modern or sci-fi settings. But some writers made the point that sticking to the conventions of one genre makes your book more marketable. My current WiP is what I describe as “science-fantasy”. The discussion made me think about what elements I need to keep and which are fine to twist or subvert. I need to find a way to blend the two genres without it becoming a confusing mish-mash.

There was also some debate over whether poetry counted as a genre. I would argue that it’s technically a form of writing which, although often associated with romance, could be any genre. What do you think?

We also discussed our creative processes, which were all very different. Some writers started with an idea of the characters and went from there (particularly those who wrote romance or drama), others began with the plot. Because I usually write speculative fiction, I tend to start with the worldbuilding or a “what if?” question, and the characters emerge later.

A couple of the writers had challenged themselves by re-writing the first chapter of a book in a different genre. We got to listen to a YA dystopian version of Pride and Prejudice, and a thriller version of Little Women. Both were very clever and imaginative. We all have the same task as homework for our next meeting. I already have an idea and am looking forward to having a go.


I didn’t get much reading done this week. Definitely need to up my game to hit my goals. I’m still reading The Maelstrom by Matthew Barnes. Check out my Stacking the Shelves post to see the new books I got for Christmas.

Book cover for The Maelstrom by Matthew Barnes, featuring a skull on a black background.


  • The second episode of The Apprentice was entertaining. Why are the boys seemingly obsessed with bowel movements?
  • We can’t stop listening to the Encanto soundtrack. It’s amazing!
  • I introduced my daughter to Camp Cretaceous yesterday and she loves it. It’s kid-friendly and has a good storyline that fits in with the events of Jurassic World. I can’t wait until she’s old enough to watch the OG Jurassic Park, one of my favourite films of all time.

Quote of the Week

"Sometimes sitting and doing nothing is the best something you can do." Karen Salmansohn,

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer.

It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog. This is your news post, so personalize it! Include as much as you want or as little. Be creative, it can be a vlog or just a showcase of your goodies. Link up once a week or once a month, you decide. Book haul can include library books, yard sale finds, arcs and bought books..share them!


What is your favourite genre to read or write? Do you enjoy genre cross-overs? Have you read or watched anything interesting lately? Let me know in the comments!

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8 responses to “Thoughts on Genre Conventions (#TheSundayPost)

    • Thank you, Cindy. I love lazy days like that. I feel they’re more necessary than ever at the moment with all the crazy things going on. Thanks for stopping by.

  1. Interesting! I tend to like science- fantasy as a mashup of two genres I enjoy, but I imagine it can be tough for an author to juggle those oftentimes.

    That Pride and Prejudice reimagining does sound intriguing!

    I go back and forth between fantasy and SF. Maybe that’s why I like science fantasy lol.

    • Same. I love mixing elements from both. Star Wars does it well, and I’m told that the Luna Chronicles are great too but I haven’t read those yet.

  2. My favorite books are mash-ups of genres! I understand that readers have certain expectations for genres, but sometimes I wish publishers would experiment a little more. One of the many reasons I quit writing is because I didn’t like sticking to genre conventions. I wrote a YA book that almost got published a bunch of times. Publishers liked it, but they weren’t willing to take a chance on it because it didn’t have a romance. YA books are supposed to have romances.

    • Me too. It’s a shame publishers don’t take more risks. I get bored of seeing so many novels that follow the same formula. I personally don’t like too much romance and tend to skip those parts in books. I’d love to read more YA that was just about friendship. Have you considered self-publishing your book?

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