MANY GENRES, ONE CRAFT: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction (Headline Books, 2011)is an amazing anthology of instructional articles for fiction writers looking for advice on how to improve their writing and better navigate the mass market for genre novels.

Sure, lots of how-to books are out there already, offering to help writers improve.  Ours is different.  Here's what makes MANY GENRES unique:

  • This book is like a genre writer's workshop in a bottle!  Every contributor to this book is a seasoned veteran in the industry or a hot new writer...and many are bestsellers who have won multiple literary awards for their potent and entertaining genre fiction.

  • But more than that, these contributors know how to teach genre fiction. They are all trained teachers, visiting authors, or published alums from the MFA in Writing Popular Fiction program offered by Seton Hill University -- the only grad school dedicated to writing commercially-viable genre novels of quality.

    (But this is no stuffy textbook...MANY GENRES is full of chatty advice from writers who love to tell stories in their genres, and are passionate about passing on their practical wisdom and strategies for success.)

  • The book is a hefty volume, with over 130,000 words devoted to genre fiction writing.  It is divided into three parts, with an average of 20 articles about each:  CRAFT, GENRE, and THE WRITER'S LIFE:

  • The GENRE section includes an array of articles about each popular genre in the marketplace:  romance, Women's fiction, science fiction, fantasy, horror, suspense thriller, mystery, children's and young adult.  There are even articles on manga to magic realism, short fiction to media tie-in books.  And broader discussions of genre, the marketplace and originality. Whether you want to specialize in one genre, write for several, or develop cross-genre hybrid fiction, this book will help.

  • The CRAFT section looks at each element of fiction (character, plot, setting, etc.) with plenty of examples from genre texts, with smart tips on how to revise and self-edit in order to satisfy editors in the commercial marketplace. 

  • The section on THE WRITER'S LIFE offers practical advice on how to maximize your genre writing career, with essays on learning (workshops, grad school, research), working (time management, finding an agent, landing a teaching job) and promoting (reviews, press release, guerilla marketing, and genre conventions).  
  • The scope of the book is stunningly wide, with articles ranging from "How to Get an Agent" to "The Element of Surprise in Horror, Thriller and Mystery fiction" to "Put a Little Love in Your Plot."  You'll learn about how to craft great opening lines, how to handle "alpha male" characters, and how to run a Virtual Book Tour...and much more. To get a better sense of all that you can learn from this remarkable book, read a sneak preview of the table of contents on scribd.com.

  • The book's 60 contributors are the voices you trust from the bestseller lists and new writers with something fresh to say about the unique needs for the genre marketplace today.  Chances are good you'll recognize one of these names, but if you don't, you will.  Keep coming back to this page to learn more.

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