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Genre and rhyming

David Gane
David Gane
1 min read

Seth Godin talks about genre in his book The Practice:

The people you bring your work to want to know what it rhymes with, what category it fits in, what they’re supposed to compare it to.

This definition is a valuable way to look at story genre—especially with the term “rhymes.” That means it’s a close match but not an exact one.

It’s good to know the tropes of a genre but don’t copy them. Push against them, play with them. Surprise us.

But, of course, genre is also a category and has to fit in with the rest of that category. Push too hard or too far—suddenly, you’re outside the category and no longer rhyming.

Yes, you can hit the exact beats—but you don’t have to. And if you hit them too much, we know what to expect, which isn’t much fun either.


David Gane Twitter

Co-writer of the Shepherd and Wolfe young adult mysteries, the internationally award-winning series, and teacher of storytelling and screenwriting.


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