Testing Out New Genres

Sep 7, 2021

Guest Blog: Mandy Eve-Barnett

I have always written my stories, without limiting the narrative with a specific genre in mind. I enjoy the flow of words, and the surprises that arise from my characters. A story may start as one thing and morph into another entity entirely. That is the fun of writing without a plan. The revisions and editing come later as does the decision on the genre. However, after publishing my steampunk novel, The Commodore’s Gift in September 2020, I began pondering my NaNoWriMo project. I did have several folders of short stories that I could draw from but a new concept and idea came into my head. Not only was it a new genre for me to tackle but also a trilogy. This was exciting but at the same time made me apprehensive. Apart from my two novellas, The Rython Kingdom and Rython Legacy, all my novels have been stand-a-lone.

To embark on a new genre is one thing (I have done it a lot) but a three book series is quite another. For the first time, I found myself creating character sheets, back stories, and plot arcs for each novel and the trilogy. There was also a lot of research to do for locations, police procedures and specific poisons, as well as reading books in the genre. A detective/crime series needs careful planning to ensure the facts are correct but also to make sure each book intrigues my readers and entices them to read the next one.

So this brings me to the life hack. Organize paperwork, documents, mementos etc. so you can easily find something when the need arises. At first, it can seem daunting but tackle one space, one set at a time. Focus on creating a system that works for you. You can colour code files, label containers and store in see-through boxes.