What is genre? It’s a way to categorize your novel. There’s genre dependent on age: Young Adult, Adult, and Juvenile. There’s genre based on content: Romance, Mystery, and Thriller. Genre is a way to narrow down book selection. We’ve all got genres that we narrow in on when he go to find our next book.
For writers, it is important to know your genre. Sure, it can change depending on how the novel goes. It might start out as a fantasy and end up a little more thriller. It might begin as a romance and turn into a mystery. A good novel will have elements of more than one genre. A good novel may be classified as a mystery, but also have romance, suspense, thrills, and some scares.
It’s not uncommon to be unsure of whether your novel’s genre is more thriller or suspense or horror sometimes, especially if it has a combination of several.
It doesn’t bother me when new writers aren’t sure what genre to choose. I needed help myself. But, it bothers me when new writers don’t know if their novel is Young Adult or Adult.
If you write YA, you should have be actively reading YA, and so you should know how a YA book goes. Likewise if you write Adult. How else are you going to know what’s been published? It bothers me to no end when new writers write to fit into the Young Adult market thinking they’ve got the next big tween hit. They’re writing for the market, to make money, to be the next Stephanie Meyer.
Some of the best advice on writing I’ve gotten is to write for yourself. Don’t tweak your character’s age to make her fit into the Young Adult shelves, thinking that you’ll make it big. Write the stories you want to write, whether they’re 16 or 65.
And these new writers thinking they’ve got the next Harry Potter rush to the self-publishing market when the traditional market, flooded with YA fantasies, and jump the gun to get their book out there.
I apologize for the “rant” of this post. I’m getting tired of reading the same forum posts from new writes that don’t know if they’re writing Adult or Young Adult. If they don’t know, then I take it to mean they’re not reading in the genre they’re trying to write.
I tried to write a YA book thinking it would be easier to break into the traditional market. Yeah, I did. That book got rejected from each agent (except one who requested a partial, but in the end declined, because she couldn’t connect to the main character). And, after letting it sit for a few months, I can’t connect to the main character, either. That novel has since been sitting on my computer, because I’m not happy with it. I know it needs work. I should not have de-aged my main character to make her fit into a market.
I am not a YA writer. I write A. Whenever I revise that novel, it’ll be an adult fiction.
Sigh – rant, over.
Side note – Happy early Halloween!