1. Zack Winchester
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    Zack Winchester Member

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    Having trouble figuring out the genre of my novel.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Zack Winchester, Jun 14, 2011.

    Hi to all. My name is Zack and I'm from Puerto Rico. This is my first thread here. I hope you guys can help me out. I'm writing a novel and having a bit of a hard time figuring out the genre. Basically the plot is about an extraterrestrial race that comes to earth secretly, and starts taking control of humans actions and thoughts to make them do horrible things for their entertainment. At first, I thought it was a Sci-Fi novel, because it had to do with aliens, it starts in the planet of the aliens (only the first scene), and some scenes are narrated describing the aliens thoughts. But now I'm thinking it may be more of a horror novel because of the violent deaths that I've being writing recently. It has had very little science on it. And lately I have being focusing more and more on the fear of the humans involved. With the information that I have given you, what kind of novel does it look like? Sci-Fi or Horror? Thank you in advance for your help.
     
  2. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    For starters, genre is not that important.

    Second, it is possible for one story to have multiple genres. Sci-Fi/Horror is actually pretty common, I think.
     
  3. r3dbuddha
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    r3dbuddha New Member

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    Yes, don't worry about what label will be applied to your story, don't worry about conventions to much, think of the story first. If it works and supports your story, that's what counts :)
     
  4. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    If you want your writing published, genre does matter. You need to know which publishers to send it to, which groups of readers it will appeal to, how it may be marketed. I know it's not as romantic as "write whatever you want, it doesn't matter", but if you want to be a professional writer, genre (in a commercial sense) is something you're going to have to concern yourself with at some point.

    From what you've said, I'd probably go with horror rather than science fiction, if science doesn't actually play much of a role in the story.
     
  5. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    Our point is that at the point of writing, genre doesn't matter. It's not like you'll think of the publisher BEFORE you have a manuscript, and by the time you actually have a manuscript, you should have a pretty good idea of what genre the story is.
     
  6. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    I see no reason why it can't be both. After all, what would you call Alien? And in point of fact crossing genras may be useful in selling it as you get to appeal to two different audiences.

    Cheers.
     
  7. Jo_and_the_novelist
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    Jo_and_the_novelist New Member

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    There's a lot of cross-over in genres particularly with sci-fi/fantasy/horror. Alien, for example is a sci-fi/horror because, y'know, it's all in space *and* has scary/gory bits to it too.

    Hmmm. That's possibly the most simplified synopsis of that movie.

    Anyway, I'd go with sci-fi/horror... Also, if you're interested in this kind of stuff, do some reading around sci-fi/fantasy/horror genres. It's pretty interesting. I can recommend some books if you like?
     
  8. Protar
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    Protar Active Member

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    It's definitely Sci fi/horror. Cross genres are actually very common. But as others have said genre isn't really as important as people make out.
     
  9. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    That may be the point you were making, but the OP is clearly well into the writing of his novel and already has the story worked out, and is still uncertain of the genre.
     
  10. Zack Winchester
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    Zack Winchester Member

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    That's exactly why I began getting worried. After having written 30,000 words I was not sure what the genre of the novel was. And as you say, knowing the genre is very important. Analyzing what I have till now, I believe the horror element in the novel is the strongest. What worries me about making this a horror novel, is that I have read that breaking into the horror market can be extremely difficult.
     
  11. Diablo Robotico
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    Diablo Robotico Member

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    It sounds like a sci-fi/horror hybrid. As for publishers, I would suggest a horror publisher. From what I've seen (which probably isn't a lot, I admit), a lot of science fiction publishers can be specific about what they want regarding the science aspect. If you don't really talk a lot about the science that the aliens are using or anything, then I think a horror publisher would be better.
     
  12. Zack Winchester
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    Zack Winchester Member

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    Of course. :D Recommendations are always welcome. Thank you.
     
  13. Zack Winchester
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    Zack Winchester Member

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    Thank you all for your comments and advice.
     
  14. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    It's fine to want to realize where you will place your novel for purposes of being published, but you should not let that impair you from writing your story however you want to write it. For now, I would call it Horror/Sci Fi and then see if you want to refine it once it is completely written. What I would not do is say, "Gee, breaking into horror is tough, I'd better ditch some of the horror stuff and see if I can't make it more sci fi."
     
  15. The-Joker
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    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Dark Fantasy exists. I wonder if there's something called dark sci-fi. If there is your manuscript sounds like it could be that.
     
  16. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i'd advise sticking to sci-fi/horror to maximize your chances of interesting agents/publishers...

    btw, i'm working on moving to PR asap, to start a free books program and donation center there, in the bayamon area... whereabouts are you?
     
  17. StrangerWithNoName
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    StrangerWithNoName Longobard duke

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    There is dystopian sci-fi...but I've never heard about dark sci-fi. In any case, labels aren't important in this case, the genre is well defined and the story could be sold either as sci-fi or horror.
     
  18. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've not heard it called dark sci-fi, but the genre definitely exists. Like many others I immediately thought of Alien, but I note that BoxOfficeMojo lists "Sci-fi horror" as a genre in its own right, including such movies as Species, The Fly, The Island of Doctor Moreau, Frankenstein, The Blob and so on. If you turn to books the field gets much larger, because a lot of sci-fi includes aliens who do horrifying things or people who use science to do horrifying things.

    Remember, horror doesn't have to be a gore-fest, and sci-fi doesn't have to be hard sci-fi.
     
  19. G.R.Winters
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    G.R.Winters New Member

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    I agree that if you want to get published, genre is important. From what I have read, publishers expect an author to clearly indicate their genre in their submission, so I see where you are concerned. I am also stuck between genres. Perhaps we would be best off simply choosing one (A "best guess," if you will) , yet being open to a change when the time comes. When the manuscript is complete, someone in the publishing industry will know which genre your work is best suited for.
     

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