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Musings, Writing - Resources

Grow, Padawan, and mix your genres

Okay, so that was a bit puntastic, but hopefully it got your attention.

I’ve been writing stories, campaign settings and creating worlds in the science fiction and fantasy genres for as long as I can remember. Always for pleasure and never with getting published. I just enjoyed writing and creating.

But then, in New Year 2013 I decided that I would actually get published. I set to submitting my novel with a vengeance and tried my hand at writing short stories. Within a couple of months I had my first short story accepted.

After expressing my joy I kept on writing and found myself submitting in totally different genres. Crime, Horror, Weird Wild West and Sherlock Holmes (I count that as a separate genre) have all featured in stories so far and I’ve found myself growing as a result of it.

Each genre as a standalone has certain rules. A straight-forward crime story – such as Well & Truly Sporked can’t have wizard children launching fireballs at each other, for example.

Pater Syn, my first Western – albeit a Weird Wild West-type Western – had to follow rules as well. I had to capture not only the dry and gritty environment, but also the dry and gritty nature of the people themselves. I did this both through descriptive writing and the use of dialogue. This obviously worked as it was recently published in How the West Was Weird 3 by Anderfam Press.

If you’re serious about being published, you need to open your eyes to genres other than that which you are focused. Don’t let your desire to be published in one genre deny you the chance to grow – both as a person and as an author – and prevent you from being published.

Being published in other genres and by different publishers shows people that you are serious about writing and serious about being published. Just because you’ve written a novel and are submitting it to various people, it doesn’t mean can’t continue to write and start other projects.

To summarise:
1) write
2) don’t develop tunnel vision regarding genres
3) write
4) don’t focus on a holy grail publisher when there are so many others out there
5) write
6) submit


About mattsylvester

Father of two beautiful daughters and married to the beautiful Karen, Matthew has been reading and writing fantasy and science fiction since he first read the Hobbit at the age of 7. Matthew was Features Editor, Technical Consultant and regular columnist for magazines such as ‘Fighters’, ‘Combat’, ‘TKD & Korean Martial Arts’ and ‘Traditional Karate’. These are the four leading martial arts magazines in the United Kingdom. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed 'Practical Taekwondo: Back to the Roots', which has been sold around the world. With regard to his martial arts background he has been studying martial arts since 1991. In 1995 he hosted Professor Rick Clark of the ADK and since then has been studying pressure points and their uses in the martial arts and on the street (initially as a Special Constable and as a Door Supervisor). All of this practical hands-on experience means that he is uniquely placed to write fight scenes that are not only plausible but some of which are based on personal or anecdotal experience. Matthew has had a number of short stories published by Fringe Works, KnightWatch Press, Anderfam Press and Emby Press.


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