The Importance of Genre and A Young Writers Struggles With It

Genre is important but as a writer I find it impossible to place my work. I’m not the only one. I can’t remember where, but I do recall reading-or maybe hearing, for some reason I’m thinking it was on Writing Excuses- that it’s near impossible for writers to correctly label their writings. I mean, to an extent I guess some of it’s easy. If you were to write a story about a giant spider terrorizing a city it’d probably be a horror slash sci-fi.  Though, pending the point of view of the story, it could be a young adult mystery or something rather.

Incorrectly labeling a novel can lead to all sorts of trouble. It can make querying a lot harder, and if you self publish the thing might not be found. If someone finds a thriller in the romance section of Amazon, you can be assured the ratings of the novel will sink. It’s terrible, because the author may not intend to trick the reader but they still suffer, the poor author just doesn’t know.

Currently I find myself at this predicament. I guess I always have. To me Quincy’s stories are Quincy’s stories and nothing else. People can label them whatever they want. I didn’t sit down and write them with a genre in mind or a particular audience in mind either. I am writing them because they’re the stories I want to read. They’re the stories that I’m bursting at the seams to poor onto paper. The stories I need to share with the world.  And to be honest the more I write them the more they change, how can I label that?

Unfortunately, I need to find a label. The only thing I know for certain is that it’s humorous, at least as far as I can tell. But whether it’s YA or not, I have no clue. Is it considered a super-hero book? I mean he doesn’t have any powers, but he’s a crime fighter with some cool gadgets and there’s crazy villains, he even has a sidekick. Is it urban fantasy? He lives in a city full of things that don’t exist here, there’s magic, a talking penguin, Santa’s Elfs, omnipotent beings, and the like, but it doesn’t focus on wizards or vampires.

How do you choose?  You have to pick the right label or you could completely miss your audience.  But, I guess that bears the question of how do you find your audience How do you figure out what who will like your book and who what else their interested in?  This is stage I’m at. What about any of you other indie authors out there? Or beginner writers.

Your Struggling Newbie

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2 thoughts on “The Importance of Genre and A Young Writers Struggles With It

  1. amberskyef says:

    Well, for querying, you don’t need to worry about it as much as you think. You just need to get it semi-right, and your agent will pretty much determine it from there–then your publisher will. If you’re going the self-publishing route, you shouldn’t be doing it alone anyway, so likely your editor can help you determine the genre. But it’s not as stressful as it seems. I pitched my novel as a paranormal romance, but my publisher could change that, for all I know.

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