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|Question for the Month of August|
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August 3 question - When you set out to write a story, do you try to be more original or do you try to give readers what they want?
Readers of genre fiction have expectations when they begin reading a story. I did not know that when I first began writing. I write cozy mysteries. The "rules" for this special kind of tale in the mystery genre are:
**The protagonist is a smart, strong woman determined to solve the mystery. However she is not in law enforcement, but usually has a connection to someone who knows about crime like a detective, policeman or Private I (Eye?).
**The location is in a quaint town and often the main character has pets.Pastor Christine in Dangerous Sanctuary has a cat, a pig and a kangaroo.
**The cozy mystery is more of a fun, entertaining read rather than hard-core, gory crime scenes
**No open-door bedroom scenes. However, according to cozy-mystery.com, a spicy scene seems to be more acceptable to readers these days.
**The fast-paced plot is filled with twists and turns and has to have red herrings and surprises so readers can enjoy unraveling the mystery.
**As with any story ending, the author has to tie up all the loose ends with believable explanations.
As long as these criteria are met, I think there's lots of room to play with and have fun writing original ideas anytime.
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I enjoy reading a good cozy mystery. I've read two of yours and enjoyed them both.
All the best.
Pat G @ EverythingMustChange
Yes, I think some genres have rules that have to be followed. Thanks for spelling out the cozy mystery rules. I may want to write one someday so they're good to know.
Great post. Loved learning about the expectations of cozies. And you write great ones:)
Glad you're considering writing a cozy. I think they're fun to play with.
Aw, shucks. Thank you.
I like that rundown on cozies. And I would be disappointed in the book if too many of the guidelines were bent.
I didn't know all of the those rules for cozy mysteries. Very interesting. Thanks, J.Q. C. Lee McKenzie
Great highlights of what makes the genre. A reminder of why I love my cozy mysteries. Sometimes I just want a book to take care of me.
this was a great rundown of cozy mysteries - and they are so fun! I wish I could write them, but I have trouble creating good red herrings... you also inspired me to put a twist on the guidelines and try again!
It's a good observation about being original within genre expectations.
Good answer. I would agree that a fiction author who wants to sell must pay attention to the audience. I'll read non-fiction works that I hate the writing just to get information I want. If it is fiction and I'm reading for fun, I'd shut the book and give it away. It sounds like you've written books about clergy women. I'm sure that's an area that hasn't been explored enough.
There's a pattern but it give writers plenty of wiggle room.
So true about certain expectations on genre writing. After you meet those requirements then originality can take over. :)
T. Powell Coltrin Writes https://journalingwoman.blogspot.com
@Jackie--Thanks--liked your rundown on historical fiction genre.
@ Lee You're welcome!
@Adrienne--Yes, a cozy is definitely an escape from reality--for a while.
@Tara--makes me happy the post inspired you
@Jeff--yes, the main character is female pastor
@Alex--wiggle room...I like that
@Adrienne--meet the expectations and be original, yes!
It's so important to know what your genre readers expect. We can give it to them in our own unique way, but people like certain things for a reason. Thanks for sharing the cozy mystery expectations with us!
To be honest, I'm not much of a fan of genre fiction, because of the rules. The more rules, the more formulaic it feels to me as a reader. I prefer more unexpected than expected.
@Charity--You're welcome. Thank you for stopping by.
@Nan--And you deliver on the unexpected! Thanks for popping in.
I enjoyed reading this post. It was interesting and informative. Thanks a lot for sharing this.
@Damyanti--You're welcome. Thank you stopping inand for leaving your comment!
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