Are you naughty… Or nice?

Or are you NASTY?

Books are like most products in the marketplace – they fall into categories, and the categories fall in and out of fashion.  Bookshops now have whole shelves labelled Cosy Crime, to distinguish the gentility of Agatha Christie with the more graphic images of, for example, Kathy Reichs.  Nice as opposed to…  Well, you get the idea…

So as a writer, you have to consider your market.  Who are your readers?  What else are they reading?  What category do you fit into?  But that’s not to say you should copy others, or run after the latest fashion; if you’re currently working on a TV script set in Denmark, personally I’d forget it (unless you’re reading this on your laptop in Copenhagen, of course, then in may still be worth it).  You are allowed to try to be original, find your own voice, and even subvert a genre or two.  If you can be a bit naughty and play around with the reader’s expectations, that’s likely to be a good thing…  Just be aware that publishers and agents may not be as creative or imaginative as you are.  They may very well just seem obsessed about which shelf your work should sit on.  Make sure you have an answer for them.

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