Last summer, Editorial Director of Baker Books, Chad R. Allen wrote a memorable post entitled, How to Write Stuff Everyone Wants to Read. He emphasized how, as writers, we are crafting experience. In his post, Allen challenges writers to engage the imagination.
I thought I’d play with your imagination a little today.
Allen’s point about inventing experiences that rival reality made me think of how various genres stir unique feelings in us. While every book should roll out an intricately woven one-of-a-kind carpet to captivate its intended readers, I had fun envisioning the experiences the following eight genres tend to evoke.
8 Genres. 8 Experiences.
Jolting sensation of riding Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster in The Magic Kingdom. Plot twists catch in your lungs like unexpected gear shifts.
Gondola. Fingers entwined in yours. Sigh in your chest. Brushstrokes of sunlight painting whorls of shimmer across the water and in your loved one’s eyes.
Meandering through museum halls. Absorbing the well-placed recordings of times gone by. Swept up in the past.
Fantasy or Dystopian
Hobbit meets the White Witch. A play. Disguised and in costume. Dragons breathing fire. Crowd cheering as the halo encircling Katniss alights in a wreath of flames.
Playground. High-pitched joy-born giggles. Erupting in non-stop smiles, warmed by endless possibilities resplendent in youth.
Yellow police tape snapping in the wind. Blood spatter. Quivering angst-filled anxiety rotisserie turning in your gut, pushing you to solve it.
Coffee shop. Shot of espresso springing your brain to an intoxicating awakened awareness. Craving to touch everything you see in order to take it all in anew.
My books (women’s fiction)
Remember this experience? I want to bring it back for you…
Breaking in a sprint to reach your beloved tree. Heart bursting in your chest as you climb and swing. Devotion coursing through you as you carve your initials into the bark, proud to say you’ve been there. Hope swelling as you gather wood and begin to construe a plan for building a tree house. Come one, come all. A club house—a book club house inspired to include all those who love to read.
Can you think of other experiences specific genres churn inside of us? What experience are you hoping to create for readers of your books? What experience do you love having as a reader?
photos by stock.XCHNG