Constructive Criticism- Understanding the Genre

Another thing you need to do to give criticism that is truly creative is to be familiar with the genre of the work that you are reading. Creative partners working on computer at their deskFantasy is different from hard boiled detective stories which differ from romance novels which are different from non-fiction books. Each genre has its own patterns, its own tropes, its own pacing and its own use of language; and if you don’t know what a romantic comedy typically sounds like, you’re going to have a hard time knowing if the writer is doing his job.

Furthermore, most writers use the traditions of their genre to spin a tale for their readers, but some break those rules in a controlled fashion, to give their readers what they’re looking for, but with a twist. To do that well, you still need to be familiar with the conventions of the genre. You need to know those rules before you can figure out when and how to break them, and knowing the rules makes the difference between good writing and bad.

As someone giving constructive criticism, you need to know that genre and its customs so that you can give better feedback, whether your writer is following those rules or breaking them.

There’s some decent feedback you can give even if you don’t know the genre, but to give constructive criticism, it’s best if you know the genre itself first.

Catherine Kane


For more information on Catherine’s books, “Adventures in Palmistry”, “The Practical Empath – Surviving and Thriving as a Psychic Empath”, “Manifesting Something Better”, “The Psychic Power of Your Dreams”, her urban fantasy “The Lands That Lie Between”  and her latest book “Magick for Pennies”, all from Foresight Publications, click here

and for the new Kindle version of Manifesting Something Better, click here

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2 Responses to Constructive Criticism- Understanding the Genre

  1. Good stuff, Catherine! I’ve missed your ‘voice of reason’ on WG!
    Hope you are well.

    • well thank you, Keith. It’s good to feel I made a difference. If there are folks over there who are interested in constructive criticism and how to do it (or anything else I talk about here…), please invite them to drop by 🙂

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