During the Falling Into Place: How Writers Find Their Genre panel, novelist Zachary Jane (The Lifeboat) commented that when she came to write, her style fit best into the genre she reads the most. She’s a fan of Jeanette Winterson and Haruki Murakami, and her publishers told her that her novel fit in a similar bracket. She also said she found the style that suited the way her thoughts went while experimenting with short stories, writing on aeroplanes and in airport lounges.

In the same session, Max Barry confessed he’d never consciously considered genre; his publishers told him at one point that he was writing science fiction, and then branded a later novel of his as young adult fiction. He decided to write what he wanted to read, and that genre was something publishers did, not something that needed to consciously appear in your writing. Although, he admitted, there do tend to be clear characteristics of particular genres; he just didn’t think it was something to worry about until after a novel was finished.

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