If you’ve read some of my other blog posts, you will clearly see that I’m no authority on writing (or much else). I’m stumbling along as I go, writing whatever comes to mind about writing.
Today’s topic of confusion: Genre. Ah, that pesky little demon that can be as simple as romance or mystery to as complicated as Dystopian Paranormal Romance (ok, I made that one up, but I’ve seen some lengthy ones on occasion).
When writing my little circus story, I just wrote. I didn’t think about genre. I knew it was Young Adult (which surprised the heck out of me since I hadn’t written YA before) and that was about it. *Side Note: I know YA is a category before anyone hunts me down. If I ever accidentally call it a genre, I’m just being lazy. You know, like Kleenex being every facial tissue ever made? Sorta like that. Now back to the show*
With the first draftedidee draft done, I was excited and relieved. I had finished my first ever novel. I rested and celebrated. Then I hyperventilated as I thought about editing. I’d never edited something like this before. Papers for school would be edited as I wrote, but fiction is a different writing process in every way for me.
So being the good writer that I am, I did what anyone else would have done—-procrastinated by researching agents and query letters. It is here that I realized I had no clue what genre my novel fell into. It’s set in the here and now with a circus run by a man that forces people to perform for it so he can feed off of their energy and the patrons’. A whole lot of mind powers going on, but an otherwise mostly realistic world.
I began researching genre and what genres were out there. My poor little story didn’t seem to quite fit anything that I came upon. I’ve settled for low fantasy at the moment, but I can’t say I love that classification.
Have you ever done a search for genre? Eek, it’s scary and confusing. No wonder I’m still just as lost today as I was the first time I decided to christen my novel! I will list a small few of sites I found to list genres but with subgenres, the possibilities seem endless.
So, do your homework and try to categorize as best as you can, but know that most of us are as lost as you if you don’t have an easily genrefied novel. Come as close as you can when you querying (or so I keep reading) and put most of that worry into making your book the best it possibly can be!
I listed my debut novel ‘A Construct of Angels’ as a paranormal romance because it features angels and demons and a woman who eventually falls in love with the constructed angel of the title. However, readers have asked why I call it a romance when it’s more of a thriller. Others have suggested it’s a mystery as there is a lot of problem-solving and tracking-down of the main anatagonist. To keep everyone happy I am now announcing a brand new genre called the Young Adult Contemporary Urban Romance Dystopian Mystery Thriller Horror Fantasy – or AYCURDMTHF. Perhaps you could join me in this fledgling genre and we could stop worrying?