Tough Choices: Genre-informed Dilemmas

atomic bomb via coffeeandcigarettes(Photo Credit: Pinterest)

Since your genre has a specific focus, why not make use of this fact when brainstorming dilemmas? Every genre has built-in reader expectations for focus, issues, stye of world-building, etc. You can exploit built-in assumptions while developing touch choices for your characters. Here are three examples of what I mean…

Historical fiction often touches on how past conditions shaped — and were shaped by — social conditions. Hopefully, you are familiar with what makes your time period unique. A Great Depression has different built-in dilemmas than does a Renaissance, Great War, or a Liberation Movement. People living in times like these often feel strong pulls in multiple directions… tough choices.

Detective fiction often deals with issues of justice, injustice, and the grey area between the two. Likely, you have fine-tuned your area of interest.  Your explorations do not need to be limited to your main plot. Maybe a character changes as a result the tough choices she makes.

inspirational fiction often handles a very character-focused struggle to find and/or keep religious faith in times of trial. Since the character always chooses to follow her faith, the trick to making this a tough choice is to set up scenarios that strongly tempt the character to make the wrong choice.

Remember your genre as you write. Readers of your genre are picking up your book with certain expectations. Whether you flip,stretch, or reinforce the assumptions, there are issues that the reader expects will be addressed. So keep your genre in mind as you write.

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