by Tim Kane
Certain types of fiction call for different writing styles. These aren’t hard and fast rules. They’re simply what has worked well. Check them over and know them before journeying off on your own writing path.
What is genre? Well, it’s those stories that have their own sections in bookstores. Or, put more simply, they are stories that follow rules. You have your Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Romance, Western, Adventure, etc. Each one of these comes with certain audience expectations, so you need to read up on the genre you want to write. You don’t have to follow all the rules (after all, they’ve become cliche), but you need to know them.
Genre writing can support nearly all writing styles, but third person narration dominates. This is also were you’ll see omniscient narration. This is where the author will dip into multiple character’s heads to hear their thoughts. Quite difficult to do. You could check out Alchemyst for a noteworthy attempt. Genre also supports large casts of characters (as in the Lord of the Rings).
This can also be called realistic fiction. Most writing in this area follows one key character. We sometimes can’t even call him or he a protagonist because often this person is neither heroic or likable. First person narration works quite well for this style of writing. The writer can filter everything though the main character’s point of view. Unreliable narrators are common (as in The Great Gatsby). A close third person narration would also work, provided you can dig into a character’s thoughts.
Remember, rules were made to be broken. Don’t feel beholden to these. They’re more guidelines really.