Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Genres

Like many of you pointed out, realizing what books your story is similar to will help you target a specific house or agent.

One of the most important things to know is what genre your books falls under. In other words, at the bookstore, what shelf in what section would your story sit on.

There's tons of genres for fiction.

Western
Romance
Thriller
Suspense
Literary
Mainstream
Fantasy
Futuristic
Mystery
Historical

The list could go on. Not only that, but you can mix and match genres, though it's vital to know the main category of your story.

For instance, I am writing inspirational (Christian) contemporary romances targeted to Love Inspired. However, I've thought of writing an inspirational urban fantasy. That would be mixing the genres up and might be kind of fun, though a difficult sell.

Debra, in the comments yesterday, mentioned a gothic inspirational. How fun! A totally new genre comprised of some main genres.

What genre do you write in? Ever thought of trying something new?

21 comments:

Kristen Painter said...

I try something new all the time. I've written fantasy, contemporary paranormal, straight contemporary, YA and now urban fantasy. I'll keep trying my hand at different genres until one fits/sells.

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

I write mostly fiction short stories about women over coming great odds. I have written a fantasy and a horror short story that both got Honorable Mention in writing contests. When I'm in "writers block" I like to step outside my genre and experiment with "mix and match" genres.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Womens Fiction is my main area, but write in lots of other genres for articles and in poetry. Variety is a good thing.

Jessica said...

Sounds great, Kristen. Urban fantasy is really interesting to me. I hope you find your niche. :-)

Jessica said...

Or rather, a publisher finds you! But you've got your first sale and here's to hoping many more will follow! Congrats on that. :-)

Jessica said...

Wow, Donna. You write horror? Very cool. I've never read horror, mostly because I can't watch it. LOL Too much of a scaredy cat. Yeah, you've won some awards. Have you ever subbed a short story to an e-publisher? They publish novellas, I think, which you might do well at since you're already proficient with the short stories.

Jessica said...

I agree, Angie. We can stretch ourselves with variety. So, is all your women's fiction humorous?

Eileen Astels Watson said...

I'm like you, Jessica. Inspirational Christian Romance. I believe that is a sub-genre of the Romance genre. I'm still trying to figure all this "categoryizing" out.

I'd like to write a Inspirational Christian Romantic Comedy some day. Though I have a long way to go to learn how to truly write funny!

Jessica said...

I think it's a subgenre too. Like Historical romance. :-)
A comedy would be cool. If you can pull it off, more power to you! :-)

Dara said...

My current WiP is historical, though it could lean towards being slightly in the "literary historical" sense. Not sure though. :P

I figure when I'm writing my query letter, I'll say it's historical fiction. Anyway, it's pretty much all I write anyway (sometimes I write historical romance, but it's nearly always historical in nature).

I'd like to try and write fantasy or even an alternate history story some day.

Jessica said...

Ooh, an alternate history story? I've never heard of that but bet it would be pretty cool. Kind of like parallel universes?

T. Anne said...

I write mostly literary fiction but lately I feel steered towards Chick lit. I love to keep it light and laugh along the way.

anita said...

I write literary historical romances with a blush of paranormal. :-)

Alternate historical? I have a friend who just finished a Marilyn Monroe "what if" book. I think that would fit in that category.

It's what Marilyn's story might have been had she not really died, but had faked her death instead. It's pretty cool!

jessie said...

I think I write paranormal and urban fantasy, but sometimes I think my books don't really fit and maybe I should just make up my own genre.

Jessica said...

Hey T. Anne,
I love it when a book makes me laugh. It's such a hard thing to do, really. Sounds like you might come up with some interesting stuff with this. :-)

Jessica said...

Hey Anita,
I completely forgot about that Marilyn story.
You also write great fantasies. :-) Well, is Nocturnus fantasy or paranormal?

Jessica said...

Jessie,
It would be great if we could make up our own genres. LOL I've heard that the Outlander series is a hodgepodge, so don't worry about fitting. :-) If it's a great story with great writing, it has a strong chance of being picked up, imo.

anita said...

Thanks for the kuddos on my fantasies, Jessie! :-)

I think Nocturnus is definitely a fantasy because of the depth of world building. Twilight is considered a paranormal romance because there's very little world building.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jess -

I'm still trying to figure out whether my novel is a mystery, suspense, or mystery/suspense. It takes place in the future, but is not sci-fi or fantasy (though some people might argue with the fantasy element.

I think I'll have to get it straight in my head or I'll never be able to pitch it to an editor.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Jessica said...

Hey Susan,
Maybe it's a futuristic suspense? LOL That might work! Either way, sounds interesting to me.

quixotic said...

There are so many sub genre's out there. You would think it would make things easier to define, but they don't. I'm still trying to find exactly where my novel fits. I'm somewhere between Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy.