If there is one aspect of writing that boggles my mind, it is the ever pervading meaning of ‘genre’.
Fiction and Non-Fiction are the simple ones. We all get those.
YA is also pretty easy to figure – books for “young adults”. Children’s books – yeah, those are for the munchkins.
But the rest? Not so easy.
The fiction genres are a wide category.
Fantasy. Horror. Mystery/Crime. Romance. Science Fiction. Thriller/Suspense/Adventure.
But from here, they all spider…
Dark Fantasy. Urban Fantasy.
Erotic Horror. Gothic Horror.
Supernatural Mystery. True Crime.
Historical Romance. Paranormal Romance.
Dystopian Science Fiction. Steampunk Science Fiction.
The list goes on and on! If you’re a serious writer, I’m sure you know.
But what sends me into an irate, red vision frenzy (ending in a lot of reading, tv shows, venting, and chocolate) is the fact that no one can seem to peg down an agreeable list! Everyone has their own opinion on this. Or at the very least – a slight variation.
Then there’s the fact that some literary agents have their own little considerations. Like when they say they consider “vampire” as its own genre. In these cases, however, they normally almost always state things like this on their website – so go look!
And don’t even get me started on everyone’s definitions of commercial, literary, mainstream, etc. That’s just setting yourself up for a thorazine drip and a nice comfy jacket with lots of buckles. I’ll tackle these later.
I write genre fiction as you well know. This means, I need to know which genre(s) and sub genre(s) my novel fits into before I begin typing up queries. In all reality, I need to know before then so I can find out whether or not I should even be sending a query to that particular literary agent. And if you want to take it a step further than that, I should know well before then because I need to know my intended audience before I begin writing.
So in honor of how much a writer tends to have to put into this, I’m now going to do my very best to define the genres and their subgenres. Limiting myself to ONE major fiction genre and its sub-genres per post. Or I might just implode.
I’m going to stick with these as the Fiction Genres:
- Science Fiction
I’ll probably have a “loose ends post”, so to say, when I’m done. There, I’ll explain any problems I came up against and answer/address any questions/concerns I receive via comments.
And as normal, I’ll not do every post one right after the other. So for any of you not interested in this, don’t worry – I’m not going to obsess over it. These posts will be interspersed just like the trickster research posts.
Do you have any good/favorite reference sites that you go by when it comes to genres and their sub-genres for fiction?
Anyone have issue with the list of 6 genres I have above?