1. Katie Dugan

    Katie Dugan New Member

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    What is my genre?!

    Discussion in 'By the Genre' started by Katie Dugan, Apr 13, 2020.

    Hi! So I'm ultimately confused on whether my book is dystopian, fantasy, speculative fiction? Like, I'm not sure how to narrow it down. First off, it is YA fiction. It's in our world, in the far future, and while book one is set on a pastoral, peaceful province, this province is connected to a toxic, sick, and more advanced mainland. This makes me think dystopian, my protagonist joins a squadron to defend her home. However, she is defending her home from humans that came from the mainland with a mutation that makes them different: they need to consume life force to survive. Aka, they drink blood to drink the life force inside of it basically. (they're not vampires!! agh, lol.) but since it is caused by a virus is that speculative fiction? Fantasy since this virus nor those infected humans exist?! Agh. I'm sorry, identifying genres is clearly not a strong suit of mine. Thank you for reading this jumbled mess!!

    Basically, in a query letter for example, what would I call this?!
     
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  2. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    I don't really see YA as a genre, more a category. I would call it YA fantasy I think, going form what you said. And if you want to connect it with really popular fiction say there are sparkly vampires in it... :p
     
  3. Katie Dugan

    Katie Dugan New Member

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    Ooh, thank you!! This is helpful. :)
     
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  4. cosmic lights

    cosmic lights Contributor Contributor

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    Maybe a Dystopian Fantasy.
     
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  5. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber oike despatio Contributor

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    Dystopian is just a depressing subgenre of speculative fiction, so I would call it a dystopian fantasy as well.
     
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  6. Katie Dugan

    Katie Dugan New Member

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    Thank you for this! Good to know. :)
     
  7. Katie Dugan

    Katie Dugan New Member

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    Thanks! :)
     
  8. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    If it's YA and that's the only genre you're sure about, leave the other tables off and show them in your query letter. If you say, Far in the future... the world we know is over... the creatures... those sort of things will let the agent or editor know right away what sort of book they're getting into just as much as a list of genres. And I'm not sure it's such a good thing to start naming multiple genres that your book could fall into. I think mentioning that it's YA is important because that shows you know your intended audience. But if you're not sure about other genres and start giving the book three of them, I think it can come across a little sloppy or unprofessional. Showing vs. telling works in a query letter too. And hopefully from that what you write paints a clear picture of the book you're trying to sell. Good luck.
     
  9. Justin Attas

    Justin Attas Active Member

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    This depends on a few key factors in your approach (super cool plot, BTW). When you say "virus", how based on real science is this? If things get pretty technical, you're looking at a scifi. If it's really more akin to medical "magic" you're looking at a fantasy. It's all about how gritty and realistic your details are. I would say this doesn't quite fit the definition of dystopia.

    Dystopias usually deal with some form of all (or mostly) powerful force controlling the population. They only really occur where there's a HUGE, overarching authority to impose strict, unusual rules. That's pretty much what defines a dystopia. Think the Capitol in the Hunger Games, the Overseers (don't remember what they were actually called) in the Giver, or even the Protectorate in Altered Carbon. If your story has a government or force with this kind of near-infinite reach and influence, then you've got a dystopia. But this is really more of a subcategory. You could have a dystopian scifi OR fantasy.

    Hope that helps! Also, you'll find quite a bit of helpful content on this stuff in the links in my signature, if you need more. Or just message me!
     

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