12.14.2009

The Genre Question

This is not the first time I've said that I do not normally think much about genre while writing. Not to say that I don't keep in mind that a story must abide by certain rules, or that for marketing's sake it needs to fit at least loosely into some accepted category. I just have never gotten into genre loyalty, and many of my favorite books don't like to be stacked neatly into labeled boxes.

Since I have yet to query, let alone get published, my ideas may belong in the category of "Kids, don't try this at home." Still, as a picky first-time reader and an insatiable re-reader, someone who likes books from science fiction and (clean) romance and fantasy and literary fiction, etc., but hasn't found any genre regularly satisfactory, I write what I would like to read. Classification and focus come in the second draft.

After several days going over the scenes and characters in my NaNoWriMo novel, and after reading a lot about the fantasy genre by those who read and write it, I've realized a couple of things about my book. First, I know the age group to which it should be marketed. Second, it doesn't fall exactly into the category I thought it did--and it's better this way, at least as I have written it. It would take a much deeper rewrite and a thorough shift in tone to get it to the genre I had thought of, but I like the tone and nature of the story as I have it now.

As someone working in the nebulous land between fantasy and fairy tale, I found myself intrigued by the answers.com article on the subject. I don't know that I agree with all the theories in there, but I do have a better idea of where this project stands.

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