Update on the past few days for y'all--I did, in fact, win NaNoWriMo on Saturday night with 50k words! Even though I still have to finish Sorrowful to reach my own personal NaNoGoal, I'm taking this week off, as is my tradition. So yes, I'll be getting back on board with the real writing again Saturday.
Today, I want to talk about choosing a genre to write, because a lot of aspiring writers struggle with this.
Personally, I knew from the get-go that fantasy was going to be my genre. This, of course, is my favorite genre to read, closely followed by science fiction, which is my other main area of writing.
Which leads me to my first piece of advice: choose a genre you love to read. This will be more natural to you. You love the genre already, and you know the ins and outs of it, which will also help you when it comes to publishing and marketing, because you'll be aware of the market.
It's also important to note that the idea comes first. If you've got a good story idea, it should naturally fall into a genre of some kind. Most of my ideas are in the fantasy realm, with some moving into the grey area of speculative fiction, and others further into science fiction. It's rare that I sit down and actually say, "I want to write a YA fantasy novel." Rather, the idea appears, it fits a genre, and I write it as such.
Another thing to remember is that, if you slip out of your ideal genre, you're likely to feel it. There will be this sense that something's off. You'll likely struggle to move forward with the proper plot points, and even if you're fine while writing, afterwards you'll look at it, for editing or publishing considerations, and you'll see that it's not quite right.
For me, the most spectacular example of this was when I tried to write realistic fiction, back in middle school. I finished the novel, all right, but it was really, really bad. Personally, I need the excitement and magic and the more metaphorical nature of fantasy and sci-fi. You strip away all of the speculation, and suddenly everything falls flat, and I've got absolutely nothing to say. It makes sense; I write fantasy because that's actually sort of how I see the world. Maybe that's how it'll work for you too: maybe you should write in a genre that reflects the way you think.
With those tips in mind, here's a list of different genres and sub-genres, with examples (some of which I have read, some of which I haven't). This should give you a better idea of what's up!! As you'll see, there's a lot of overlap between genres. Also remember, you can mix and match these terms if it better describes your book, although you shouldn't use more than a couple when you're pitching to agents and editors.
I hope this helps you! Don't forget, when you pitch your book, include both category and genre in your description! (For more information about categories, look at the definitions in this post.) Good luck on your genre choices, thanks for reading, and come back next time for another "what's in my" post. *Post removed*
What's your favorite genre to read? What category and genre do you write?
Images via clarklib.org, sciencefiction.com, wikihow.com, radiotimes.com, theguardian.com, article.wm.com, and mirror.co.uk.
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