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  1. danHQ
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    danHQ Member

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    On genres.

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by danHQ, Jan 2, 2007.

    Hi, i'm not attempting to get published, but when i do i have a question:

    will the agents or publishers mind if there is an audience mix, or i change genres. For example, the one at the moment i'm writing has a bit of an adult plot, but because i have a teenage protagonist - main character - it obviously turns out to teen.

    I rarely write like this, so if this happens to get published, will i be persecuted for changing from that to adult?
     
  2. Max Vantage
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    Max Vantage Banned

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    What's an 'adult plot'?

    You're more than likely (and take that as to mean a definite) to not only be rejected for changing genres but also laughed out of the agent's office for doing it.

    You cannot afford to spring illogical surprises on the reader all of a sudden.

    As an example, if you are writing a western and half way through it suddenly changes to a science fiction for no reason then consider it to be a very bad move.

    Stories can mix genres and possibly change, but this has to be foreshadowed in the beginning of your story. Otherwise it's going to come across as false and contrived. Not exactly the hallmark of a great or a becoming great writer.

    There have been some films made that did just this but it was slammed for it in a heavy way and it only ever done as well as become a cult favourite for film students (this wouldn't actually include certain comedy such as Blazing Saddles which intentionally broke its own rules and convention at the end purely for the comedic effect. In my opinion, it was still an awful choice by Mel Brooks to still have gone ahead and done it, I think he ruined that classic film).

    Go ahead if this is what you seek with your book, but I do advise against it in the strongest.

    Are you having development problems?
     
  3. danHQ
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    danHQ Member

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    Like, it was aimed at adults. It's a crime or A/A genre story, that won't change.
     
  4. Rueso
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    Rueso Member

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    I would image a lot would depend on how you go about presenting the story itself.

    For example, the book A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess would most definately qualify as an adult topic, yet his protagonist was a 15 year old.

    On the other hand, going from a first novel suitable for a 15 year old and straight into a second novel about wanton sex, violence and murder may not be well recieved, not only by an editor, but by your readers.

    I'm not an editor myself, but I'm very familiar with the entertainment industry, particularly music. An unsigned band can write whatever it wants. A band that is signed to a record label will have a producer that will approve or disapprove of every song they write. A band that has 10 records and millions of fans will be able to write whatever it wants again. This is usually when a band starts to dissapoint all of it's old fans and starts making new ones.


    Basically, as a proven writer with several novels under your belt, making such transitions would become much more acceptable, as you're rewarded a little more creative freedom. Just don't expect your readers to go along for the ride.
     
  5. Fantasy of You
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    Fantasy of You Banned

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    Simply, it doesn't matter. If you can write, you can pull it off. The quality of the writing is what's important. A teen protagonist doesn't make the story YA. If your plot - as well and content - are delivered in a way that makes your adience adult, then so what? Maxes example is the extreme, and not even applicable to the situation.

    Write your story, see what happens. You won't get shunned by legit. publishers for having a teen protagonist in an adult-type situation. You will for writing crap.

    - FoY
     
  6. Max Vantage
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    Max Vantage Banned

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    The situation is either the changing of the audience or the genre. I chose the view of the genre. You can either mix elements of them or write within just one. If you blatantly just change the genre (for reasons which the OP didn't specify) then the chances are that no matter what the talent of the writer there are rules which can't be broken. Only a small amount of writers had a small amount of success in doing it. But their motivation was purely to break convention for the sake of breaking it. This is the same as writers with a hissy fit stamping their feet.
     
  7. Fantasy of You
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    Fantasy of You Banned

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    You cannot possibly know the motivation of the writers who have done such things. You're presenting opinion as fact, as most do when they don't know what they're talking about.

    It's true that you can't reinvent your story at the end. You can't have your historical fiction end with a spaceship ascending to the clouds, but that's not dan's situation.

    I've already given my thoughts on the matter of your query, dan, so I won't repeat myself.

    - FoY
     
  8. Max Vantage
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    Max Vantage Banned

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    Actually, the very nature of dan's post was to ask for opinions. When I gave mine it was based on the professional opinions of those already in the industry as editors and publishers as well as seasoned expert writers. If dan's motivation was to just write for himself then that's his business, but he made a query about what agents and publishers would think if he did just that:

    Maybe you just happened to misread his post and my response?
     
  9. Fantasy of You
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    Fantasy of You Banned

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    Perhaps you misread mine, Max. I'm not in the habit of arguing with people who borrow what they think is knowledge, I'll simply say this.

    Question: will a publisher refuse my manuscript on the basis that my plot seems more for adults, but my character is a teen.

    Answer: Absolutely not.

    That is the end of my participation in this topic. You implied for your first post that such a book would fail to be published by a legitimate publisher.

    I don't want to start on the wrong foot with you, especially on someone else's thread. If you want to argue, PM me instead.

    - FoY
     
  10. Max Vantage
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    Max Vantage Banned

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    And my response was based on the OP's query on genre, not the audience query. Quite clearly you have misread my response.
    I don't borrow knowledge when it comes to the professional advice of agents and publishers.

    I think I'll stick to them for now.
     
  11. Axis
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    Axis Member

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    There are some people who have done this quite successfully, Thomas Pynchon is one, and Quentin Tarantino is another (though not an author), but they are the minority.

    For commerical appeal, I think sticking with the conventions is essentially the best way to go.

    However, that being said, a mature story about a teenage protagonist does not constitute a change of genre.
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i'm with you on the basics, foy... don't know what max is getting at, but i don't think he addressed dan's actual question which, to be fair, didn't make much sense, as originally worded... his follow-up did clarify things a bit and i think you did a good job of answering what he seems to be asking...

    love and pacifying hugs to all, m
     
  13. Fantasy of You
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    Fantasy of You Banned

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    Glad you're here, m.

    - FoY
     
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto backatcha, foy!
     
  15. HellOnEarth
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    HellOnEarth Banned

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    I'm with Max on this one.

    As always. :)
     
  16. NHRonin
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    NHRonin New Member

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    So if I understand the question, he was asking if he wrote a book in one genre and then his second book was in a different genre, would the publisher still be interested?

    My thoughts are publishers are generally interested in any author with a proven track record (sales), regardless of the genre. If that publisher works in a variety of genres, I suspect they'd be very interested if that second book was good.
     
  17. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    true... the key is 'if' that publisher of the first book also publishes the second book's genre...
     

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