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confused about the whole "genre" : FAQs • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

confused about the whole "genre"

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stormowl7
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confused about the whole "genre"

Postby stormowl7 » Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:38 pm

Hello,

I have begun sending queries for my novel, but I often feel confused with what to put when asked what fiction genre it is...It falls into Fantasy, to be sure, but it's also Young Adult as well as New Adult...I'm never sure which to put, to be honest. If I put it, for example, under YA, does that mean it can also be Fantasy? I'm also not sure since, my main character, though she does start off at the age of seventeen in the first novel, my plan is that we will see her in her early twenties as well, later in the other books...would this still be YA or would it be better in NA?

Any help on this would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you! :)

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shadowwalker
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Re: confused about the whole "genre"

Postby shadowwalker » Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:55 pm

My understanding (and this may be faulty) is that YA and NA are marketing tools, not genres. You can have fantasy in YA or NA or Adult or whatever - it's just the age group(s) the story is geared toward.
"It seems rather like wanting to be ... a writer, rather than wanting to write. It should be a by-product, not a thing in itself. Otherwise, it's just an ego trip." - Roger Zelazny

It's really not that hard. Just tell me a story.

Metilda
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Re: confused about the whole "genre"

Postby Metilda » Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:34 am

Exactly - they're marketing tools: categories on shelves.

YA / NA / Children / Young Reader - all these things are to group books for a particular age or interest audience.

Fantasy / Romance / Sci-Fi / Suspense - these are genres and it gives all readers a clue as to what the book is about.

We'd need to know more about the book itself, how it appeals to YA and NA in your view, in order to help you out more.

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stormowl7
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Re: confused about the whole "genre"

Postby stormowl7 » Mon Jun 09, 2014 7:53 am

Thank you for the responses :)

So, some publishers/agents have the submission forms directly on their website, and some had the following options:

Young Adult
Adult
Fiction - Fantasy
Fiction - Science Fiction
Fiction - Thriller

etc...now, I picked "Fiction Fantasy" since I figured that would be my safest bet...

James A. Ritchie
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Re: confused about the whole "genre"

Postby James A. Ritchie » Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:40 pm

MG, YA, NA, etc., only partially about age, it's also about how you tell the story, and the particular content of the story. An adult novel can have a twelve year old protagonist, or an eighteen year old protagonist, etc. If you've told the story, and used content appropriate to, the YA crowd, then it's YA. If you told a story in manner of, and used content appropriate to, the NA audience, then it's NA. If you've told the story in the manner of, and used content appropriate for, the adult audience, then it's adult, regardless of the age of the characters.

It's all about how you tell the story, and how you handle the content.

You have to know what you're writing, and how you're writing it, or it isn't likely to fit anywhere properly.

TerryRodgers
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Re: confused about the whole "genre"

Postby TerryRodgers » Mon Jun 09, 2014 7:03 pm


Draconiak
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Re: confused about the whole "genre"

Postby Draconiak » Fri Jul 25, 2014 2:11 pm

I am new at the whole thing, and quite honestly a bit struggling with placing my book within a particular genre. If you have a list of options (ie. Fantasy, Science Fiction, Thriller, Romance, Horror) and your book encapsulates a multitude of selection criteria such as (Fantasy, Romance, Horror)... What category of genre does it really reside? Is that the requirement of the Author to "pigeonhole" their story into such vague genres? I like to think that a work can be in any multitude of categories, and may not be as definitive as others within a specific genre can be. What is acceptable in this case? How do you proceed in query submission when you have to designate such a focused genre?

James A. Ritchie
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Re: confused about the whole "genre"

Postby James A. Ritchie » Fri Jul 25, 2014 6:51 pm


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DrG2
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Re: confused about the whole "genre"

Postby DrG2 » Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:48 pm

Do you really need to tell the agent it's fantasy if the first line of the description is:
"Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie are transported through a magical portal in a wardrobe from 1940s England to the magical world of Narnia."?

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MookyMcD
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Re: confused about the whole "genre"

Postby MookyMcD » Sat Jul 26, 2014 1:29 am

I'd say yes, because there's no reason that couldn't be the beginning of a parody or satire, they could be there for reasons or to do things that could drag it into erotica, it could be more of a sci-fi angle than fantasy, etc.

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