17.1: Genre and Media are Promises

Your Hosts: Howard Tayler, Kaela RiveraSandra Tayler, and Megan Lloyd

The genre of your story is making promises to the reader, and the medium upon which your story is told makes promises too.

In this episode we talk about the expectations set by various mediums and genres, and how we can leverage those to ensure that we deliver a satisfying story.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Marshall Carr, Jr., and mastered by Alex Jackson

Liner Notes: The entirety of Season 11, The Elemental Genres, is a deep-dive on this stuff.


What do you plan to have your work-in-progress deliver? Does the genre or medium you’re working in support the promise of that deliverable?

Mine by Delilah Dawson

5 thoughts on “17.1: Genre and Media are Promises”

  1. Another week, another podcast! This week, in the first episode of a new season, Howard, Kaela, Sandra, and Meg took us for a ride through the genres and media, which carry their own load of promises. Romance novels need a happily ever after! You can’t have a cozy mystery without a murder. Superheroes gotta fight! Animation can be fun! And so much more… you can read all about it in the transcript available in the archives now!

  2. I’m curious about your thoughts on stories that use a specific genre or structure but aim to flip the ending, to not give the happily ever after or the expected ending. Would that be no longer in that genre? Or is it just a matter of skill in cluing in the audience so that the big surprise/twist can be handled? (Or maybe you go into them knowing that your audience will be very split about the ending?) I am thinking along the lines of Atonement – a tragic romance where the ending completely changes every scene. There is no real happy ending — at least in the way that the promise is set up. Or are their always exceptions and these are just general guidelines to play around with?

  3. Have you just explained to me, why I do not like stereotype superhero movies? It has not occur the me that their infighting is a core element. Maybe that is why they are so bad – because this infighting should take precedence over any external threat, whereas that is just boring (if I understood you correctly).

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