What is Genre Fiction?

I write genre fiction. What exactly does that mean? Genre fiction is a writing style, not a category (such as fantasy or romance).

Genre fiction formatting restricts a work (anything long enough to be broken into chapters, which includes novels, novellas, and long short stories) to one tense (past or present), one person (third or first), and one point-of-view (POV) character per scene.

Other aspects of genre fiction formatting include proper dialog placement, good grammar practices, and clear implementation of special devices such as flashbacks.

Most genre fiction novels are written in simple past tense using third person with one POV character per scene. This is the format I use for all of my works.

Stories that shift POV character mid-scene (also called head-hopping), change tense from past to present, and/or shift from first person to third person at any time within the story are classified as “mainstream.” Any one of these can cause a work to be considered mainstream.

Works predating about 1985 usually run to some degree of head-hopping, while almost always maintaining both tense and person. I have some favorite old books that I just love, which do contain some measure of head-hopping. I keep those books on my personal reading shelf, because I love the stories and cannot hold authors to a formatting standard that was not in vogue at the time the work was written. Fair is fair. Again, as a general rule, the only thing these older works did was head-hop. They never violated tense or person.

There are so many new writers offering works right now, most going the self-publishing route. I have no problem with self-publishing, as long as the author in question takes the necessary steps to ensure the work is critiqued, edited, and formatted properly. However, too many of the self-published works I have sampled have been mainstream without the courtesy of the label. Too many times I’ve been lured into buying a book by a slick cover and a good blurb, only to find myself wading through unedited mainstream muck. When that happens to me, I never buy another book from that author. Nope, the trust is gone.

Many readers have no problem with mainstream. As long as they can follow the plot and enjoy the story, then they are satisfied with the read. That’s a fair assessment. If the reader is pleased, then what’s all the fuss about?

For me the answer to that question is quality. Genre fiction is by far the best format for telling a long story with many chapters and many characters. Readers never get lost with genre fiction, because it provides the template to keep them aware of who, what, when, and where. You can do anything with genre fiction. It provides the means to tell flashbacks, side stories, give backstory without information dumps, and more. It is the magic formula for telling a modern fiction story.

I gravitated to genre fiction construction from the beginning of my descent into the madness of becoming a writer. It allows me to tell a story in a logical fashion, so my readers never get lost. And I choose genre fiction authors as much as possible for my own reading pleasure — when I can find them.

My novel-length works are written in genre fiction. That includes (with more coming soon): DRAGON’S DEN (science fiction with paranormal), MUSK RAIN (contemporary paranormal romance), and PRAIRIE FIRE (western paranormal romance). For short stories (which includes DRAGON’S DEN), try the award-winning science fiction and fantasy anthology COSMIC SCULPTURE.

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Book Reviews and eBooks

I’ve noticed an odd reluctance from readers to leave book reviews on ebook download sites. I think the simple answer is that it’s difficult to “thumb out text” on a smartphone or tablet, so people simply do not bother trying. However, writers NEED book reviews to help sell more books which in turn provides the means to write more books. Book reviews FUEL the publishing industry, so give writers a little love and offer positive book reviews when you believe they are deserved. FYI, never post negative reviews. Only post a review if you can honestly give a book a 4-5 STAR rating with a short sentence. Here’s a quick link to find my ebooks on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/terribranson

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Library Paperbacks at Barnes & Noble

Now get DFP Books titles in library paperback editions direct from Barnes & Noble in addition to matching library hardbacks and EPUB downloads. Library paperbacks are 6×9 trim printed on quality cream paper with glossy covers. Listings are either available now or coming soon for: A PSYCHIC LIFE | COSMIC SCULPTURE | DRAGON’S DEN | MUSK RAIN | PRAIRIE FIRE |

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Dragons Incarnate SF Series

Find my Dragons Incarnate science fiction series on this site. Or visit the separate Dragons Incarnate WordPress site. Also, visit the Dragons Incarnate book series page on Facebook and please give the page a LIKE. Thanks!

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Donate Books to the VA

All authors wind up with boxes of old books gathering dust and clogging up closets. If you’ve been in the business for a while, you know how that is. Although authors can donate books to libraries and schools, too often those copies get pitched in the trash as soon as you walk out the door. The better solution is to donate books to active members of the military and veterans through local groups and VA hospitals. I have a good friend who was a Marine and now works for the VA. All my of old book copies go to him to disseminate to troops being deployed and to vets in the hospital. If you don’t have someone with which you work at present, try contacting a local veterans groups. It’s a small thing, but the guys and gals really appreciate free books! <smile>

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