A. Victoria Mixon, Editor
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Writer's Digest presents an excerpt from my webinar for them, 'Three Secrets of the Greats: Structure Your Story for Ultimate Reader Addiction.'

Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn, one of the Top 10 Blogs for Writers, interviews me about storytelling, writing, independent editing, and the difference between literary fiction and genre, with an impromptu exercise on her own Work-in-Progress.

Editing client Stu Wakefield, author of the Kindle #1 Best Seller Body of Water, talks about our work together on Memory of Water, the second novel of his Water trilogy.
  • By Victoria Mixon

    How many multiple genres are allowed in a story? Are genres to be paired specifically, i.e. paranormal romance, paranormal suspense, dark fantasy? Or are there other multiples that are acceptable? And how many genres are too many?—Barbara Martin

    First, Barbara, thank you for being so very patient. I know you asked me this in the comments on 13 Ways to Add Depth to Your Genre Novel way back in June, and somehow I missed it. I’ve talked about this topic a bit under Wordcount, genre, dumbing down—Indie Editor FAQ

    The secret truth is there is no limit. You can use as many genres in whatever combination you can make work, which is how new genres are born and agents and publishers get those ‘fresh and new’ stories they’re always saying they’re looking for.

    However, officially they want you to stick to the genres that already exist (although pretty much everyone will go for any genre with a romance angle added).

    Before Anne Rice ventured into freaky waters with Interview with the Vampire, nobody took literary vampires seriously. Sure, there were random horror novels that used the vampire motif, but mixing vampirism with literary fiction in a novel of human heartbreak? No, no, no, no, no. No reader would believe vampires had real feelings like human beings!

    But she mixed genres. And she started a movement.

    I recently saw children’s writers discussing in all seriousness on Twitter whether Judy Blume should be categorized as MG or YA. The thing these children’s writers didn’t know is that Blume is the one who created the distinction. When Are You There, God? It’s Me Margaret came out it was children’s fiction. But because it dealt with subject matter that current children’s fiction professionals didn’t know what to do with, they responded by trying to categorize the difference between what you can market to young kids and what you can market to teens. Ergo! Two new ‘genres’ are born.

    Genre is not fiction. Genre is marketing.

    And that’s only taken over the publishing industry in recent decades.

    So write what you want to write the way you want to write it. And make it brilliant.

    The marketers will probably have a whole other batch of genres cooked up for you by the time you’re ready.





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    A. VICTORIA MIXON, FREELANCE INDEPENDENT EDITOR


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Authors


MILLLICENT G. DILLON, represented by Harold Ober Associates, is the world's expert on authors Jane and Paul Bowles. She has won five O. Henry Awards and been nominated for the PEN/Faulkner. I worked with Dillon on her memoir, The Absolute Elsewhere, in which she describes in luminous prose her private meeting with Albert Einstein to discuss the ethics of the atomic bomb. Read more. . .


BHAICHAND PATEL, retired after an illustrious career with the United Nations, is now a journalist based out of New Dehli and Bombay, an expert on Bollywood, and author of three non-fiction books published by Penguin. I edited Patel’s best-selling debut novel, Mothers, Lovers, and Other Strangers, published by PanMacmillan. Read more. . .


LUCIA ORTH is the author of the debut novel, Baby Jesus Pawn Shop, which received critical acclaim from Publisher’s Weekly, NPR, Booklist, Library Journal and Small Press Reviews. I have edited a number of essays and articles for Orth. Read more. . .


SCOTT WARRENDER is a professional musician and Annie Award-nominated lyricist specializing in musical theater. I work with Warrender regularly on his short stories and debut novel, Putaway. Read more. . .


STUART WAKEFIELD is the #1 Kindle Best Selling author of Body of Water, the first novel in his Orcadian Trilogy. Body of Water was 1 of 10 books long-listed for the Polari First Book Prize. I edited Wakefield's second novel, Memory of Water, and look forward to editing the final novel of his Orcadian Trilogy, Spirit of Water. Read more. . .


ANIA VESENNY, represented by Beverly Slopen Literary Agency, is a recipient of the Evelyn Sullivan Gilbertson Award for Emerging Artist in Literature and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. I edited Vesenny's debut novel, Swearing in Russian at the Northern Lights, and her second novel, Sandara. Read more. . .


TERISA GREEN, represented by Dystel and Goderich Literary Management, is widely considered the foremost American authority on tattooing through her tattoo books published by Simon & Schuster, which have sold over 45,000 copies. Under the name M. TERRY GREEN, she writes her techno-shaman sci-fi/fantasy series. I am working with Green to develop a new speculative fiction series. Read more. . .


GERALDINE EVANS is a best-selling British author. Her historical novel, Reluctant Queen, is a Category No 1 Best Seller on Amazon UK. I edited Death Dues, #11 in Evans' fifteen popular Rafferty and Llewellyn cozy police procedurals, which received a glowing review from the Midwest Book Review. Read more. . .


SCOTT WILBANKS, represented by Barbara Poelle of the Irene Goodman Literary Agency, is the author of the debut novel, The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster, forthcoming from Sourcebooks in August, 2015. I'm working with Wilbanks on his sophomore novel, Easy Pickens, the story of the world’s only medically-diagnosed case of chronic naiveté. Read more. . .


LISA MERCADO-FERNANDEZ writes literary novels of love, loss, and friendship set in the small coastal towns of New England. I edited Mercado-Fernandez' debut novel, The Shoebox, and her up-coming The Eighth Summer. Read more. . .


JUDY LEE DUNN is an award-winning marketing blogger. I am working with Dunn to develop and line edit her memoir of reconciling liberal activism with her emotional difficulty accepting the lesbianism of her beloved daughter, Tonight Show comedienne Kellye Rowland. Read more. . .


LEN JOY is the author of the debut novel, American Past Time. I worked with Len to develop his novel from its core: a short story about the self-destructive ambitions of a Minor League baseball star, which agents had told him to throw away. Read more. . .


JEFF RUSSELL is the author of the debut novel, The Rules of Love and Law, based upon Jeff's abiding passions for legal history and justice. Read more. . .


In addition, I work with dozens of aspiring writers in their apprenticeship to this literary art and craft.

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