1. furzepig
    Offline

    furzepig Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2016
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Michigan, USA

    Other Can you help me nail down a genre for my WIP?

    Discussion in 'By the Genre' started by furzepig, Feb 3, 2016.

    Hello . . . I feel sort of ridiculous asking this, but this is my first go at a fully original novel. (I've written fanfic novels in the past.)

    After researching the issue, I think my work in progress probably fits best into the romantic suspense genre, except for two things. 1) My romantic pairing has some non-traditional gender roles, which seems to buck the conventions of the genre, and 2) it's alternate/parallel universe historical. The reason I can't make it straight-up historical is that I want to use characters at the apex of the political structure--kings and aristocrats and the like.

    If I had to pick an existing book that it's most like, I'd say "Swordspoint" by Ellen Kushner. That's marketed as fantasy, even though it arguably isn't.

    My understanding is that new novelists are much more likely to be successful if they stick to an established genre. I'm hoping that this story actually fits very comfortably within some genre, somewhere, and I've just overlooked which one.

    Thanks so much for your help!
     
  2. DoctorDoom
    Offline

    DoctorDoom Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2016
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    45
    Location:
    The Netherspace
    (1: Even if the gender roles are different I would still count it as romantic suspense so long as there is indeed, romantic suspense between characters and if this suspense is a driving factor of the story. Deconstructions of genres are still listed under that genre, as well they should be because it helps them stand out and hold their own in a slew of read-alike novels.

    (2: How historical? If it's just the society and not the historical figures then the 'historical' part isn't so much a factor. You can have sci-fi novels written from the perspective of tribal aliens or another civilization in their version of the renascence, but it doesn't count as historical, even if it's just humans present. It needs to have historical dates and figures to count. If it does, however, then you simply need to decide which one drives the plot more, the historical fiction or the romantic suspense, and that I can't give you an opinion on because I haven't read the book.
     
  3. furzepig
    Offline

    furzepig Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2016
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    Thanks so much for responding! I don't think the story would qualify as historical fiction, no, since I've swapped out some historical people (monarchs, in particular) for imaginary ones. It might fall under a broader umbrella of "speculative fiction," though.

    I'm starting to think that I may just have to write the whole thing and see which themes end up being the most prevalent.
     
  4. DoctorDoom
    Offline

    DoctorDoom Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2016
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    45
    Location:
    The Netherspace
    I personally find that to be the best strategy. Though as a warning, in my own experience, when you write a book and don't think about genre it tends to end up as either slipstream fiction or some other form of genre bust. Given that slipstream fiction is becoming more popular (and a genre itself rather than a term coined by Bruce Sterling) this may not be a bad thing, but it does make marketing a bit more... interesting.
     
  5. Oscar Leigh
    Offline

    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2016
    Messages:
    4,424
    Likes Received:
    1,982
    Location:
    Australia
    If it plays with the effects of the historical context I would call it historical. Or at least historical themed. And it's definitely still romance despite eschewing convention. I have a main WIP romance/drama that I'm writing, All The Odd Things, and there is not very much that is conventional about Oscar and Luke. Even some of their most obvious tropes are recent ropes that haven't been much explored outside of gay porn.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016
    furzepig likes this.
  6. MsParrish
    Offline

    MsParrish New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2016
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Home state of Charles Schulz
    If you need to step out of your box, then by all means, step WAY out of your box and see what your talents glean. Don't do anything in something as succulent and delicious as creative writing to what you think someone else does... that means you're doing it for the masses and not yourself. To thine own self be true! Do whatever you want. It's your canvas, your easel and your talents, so write as the spirit moves!
     
    furzepig likes this.
  7. Cave Troll
    Offline

    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2015
    Messages:
    3,776
    Likes Received:
    2,401
    Location:
    Where cushions are comfy, and straps hold firm.
    It could be either Fantasy or Science Fiction, though there is a narrow division between the two they are arguably fairly close. Your project is leaning more to the Science Fiction side, with alternate/parallel universes. So that is where it could fit best. Last time I was at Barnes and Nobles, they just lumped fantasy in with the Science Fiction. So I guess Fantasy is technically correlated, as a lot of 'futuristic tech' in Sci-fi can be considered 'magic'. Somebody else could explain this concept better than I can, and I hope they do. I say it is leaning more towards Sci-fi, even if it takes place in a Medieval setting. This is all opinion, so you can say your WIP is what ever genre you feel best fits it. :p
     
  8. furzepig
    Offline

    furzepig Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2016
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    Thanks for your help, guys . . . I mostly care about what genre it is so I'll know what to say about it when the time comes to query agents. I'd be sad if it were otherwise publishable but rejected at every turn because everyone thought it was a little too this or not enough that.

    That said, I've just started reading "Outlander" by Diana Gabaldon, and in some ways it's not a bad match for what I'm working on. I can more easily see a reader who liked Gabaldon enjoying my book than one who preferred Jude Deveraux or Nora Roberts. I've been trying to read as many romantic suspense books as I can to get a feel for the genre, and I have to say that I haven't enjoyed most of them. Maybe that's a sign that the novel belongs under the umbrella of speculative fiction instead.
     
  9. Rob40
    Offline

    Rob40 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2016
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Colorado
    I really want to say do not pick a genre for a work in progress especially when just starting. I feel it will limit any greatness of the story by forcing you to go where you really don't feel like you want to go.
     
  10. furzepig
    Offline

    furzepig Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2016
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    You're probably right. The more I write of this thing, the more obvious it is that it fails to "fit in" with the romance novels I've read. Now that I think about it, I think that the mainspring of the plot is whether the main character will survive in an unfamiliar environment. The romance arc is big, but secondary. It's a lot like "Outlander" in that way.
     
  11. Wayjor Frippery
    Offline

    Wayjor Frippery Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2016
    Messages:
    609
    Likes Received:
    707
    Location:
    Tranquility Base
    Hi furzepig, I'm struggling with a similar-ish problem regarding my own WIP. I've just created a thread about it right here in this sub-forum, before I read this thread (whoops!).

    Anyway, from what's been said above, I'm inclined to agree that you should postpone your pidgeon-holing until after you've finished. Having said that, it does sound like you're leaning towards a sub-genre of sci-fi. And depending on how your MC's battle with his/her environment pans out, you may even be straying into thriller territory (although that's a wild speculation on my part, given that I haven't read your book!).
     
    furzepig likes this.

Share This Page