Thursday, April 25, 2019

Genre Confusion … Anybody?



Is it just me, or can deciding what genre your story falls into be maddening, even super complicated? When I had to submit queries to agents for my first book, I had to say which genre it fell into. But I was between genres. It wasn’t completely a romance, and it wasn’t an out-and-out fantasy novel. So I used to submit it under romance, just to play it safe. As I knew the fantasy genre was hard to get into. And I didn’t think I was good enough at the time to classify it as fantasy.

I am working on a new project, which will be unnamed, in case I jinx myself. But once again, I have no idea what (if I publish it) genre I would place it in. Same goes for the short story I just finished. I read up all the genres, but it doesn’t quite sound like one or the other. I tend to unconsciously mash-up genres. Its not my fault publishing platforms want to put every piece of writing into a perfect box. So after writing your masterpiece (which is a feat in itself), you have to know what genre your work falls into.

Lately this has happened to me a lot. Whenever someone finds out I’m a writer:

What is your new story about?”
Me; “Uhm

This is the point in which I ramble on about the synopsis.

What kind of writer are you?
Me: Crickets are singing.
I mean, what genre do you write in?
Me: “Uhm.

You see my dilemma. My latest response is, “I write fiction.” Why is it that people want to know? Immediately after that, I quickly try and make the point that I don’t know super famous writers like J.K. Rowling, and Stephen King personally. For some strange reason non-writers think we writers all know each other in some secret way.

What do you guys do to help you determine in what genre you write, or which genre your story belongs to? Is there a magic trick? Or is it just my lack of experience showing, and I should read more?

Just something I have been pondering.