Sept 20 — Genre Jump Challenge

Today’s prompt is meant to propel you out of your comfort zone. Most writers have a particular set of themes that they write about or a certain kind of mood that they tend to favor. Some writers keep very strictly within the realm of individual literary genres. Many writers don’t write genre fiction: they write in-between genres, or they mix genres, or they create their own. Today’s prompt will force you to pick a genre and think about its conventions, challenging you to change your typical writing perspective.

The Prompt

Write a story in a genre that you wouldn’t normally write. If you’re a squeamish sort of person, try writing a gory horror story. Or if you hate everything mushy and lovey-dovey, try a tender romance. If you don’t normally write within a genre, pick one and try it out! 


  • You can write a new story in a new genre, or re-write an old story in a different genre
  • You could even re-write a fairy tale in a particular genre (like a hardboiled noir version of Little Red Hood, or Goldilocks in the Wild West)
  • Some common fiction genres include: Mystery, Horror, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Humor, Romance, Historical Fiction, Epic, and Folktale
  • Think about what you have come to expect from different genres. You can stretch, challenge, or change those expectations in your story, but you do need to be aware of them.

Go forth and make yourself uncomfortable!

Please feel free to share your thoughts and stories in the comments below, and remember to check back every day for more guest prompts.

12 thoughts on “Sept 20 — Genre Jump Challenge”

    1. That was powerful in 100 words! I found it hard hitting. I must admit I struggle I find historical difficult, although I have tried one or two short stories this year set in earlier times.

    1. Poetry is something I would like to get in to, but I agree it is difficult until you know something of the structures. I think reading more poetry would help.

    2. That was awesome! Poetry is indeed tricky, but I’ve been writing it for a couple decades now, and I’ve learned that you can read all of it you can handle (much like with reading fiction or nonfiction or anything else), but the key is to do what feels natural to you. I think we get too caught up in writing “rules” when, in fact, there truly are none.

  1. Today’s prompt was to write in a genre we’re not comfortable with and/or about a theme or mood we don’t typically use, but I tend to try out a lot of different genres, so I thought I would perhaps write a very brief satire on a genre. There’s football to be watched today, so I apologize for not being in the writing mojo mood. I’ll try to do better tomorrow. You can read my story here: https://storiesbystolle.wordpress.com/2015/09/20/day-20-anticipating-the-fin-de-siecle. The password is 20.

    1. I found that hard to follow even though it was short. I was confused in the opening who was thinking what. After re-reading it seemed clearer, but then I was confused by the ending being quite amicable. I think the football won today.

      1. Like I said, I think it’s just a satire on a certain genre. In a way, it’s satire on my own fan fiction prompt! I just haven’t been into the writing this month, and I think it shows.

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