What is Genre Fiction? It’s a term that pops up when submitting to various literary agents and publishing houses. Some want genre fiction; others don’t. But you need to understand what it is before you can figure out whether that’s what you’ve been writing in or not.
The Wikipedia definition of genre fiction is: Genre fiction, also known as popular fiction, is plot-driven fictional works written with the intent of fitting into a specific literary genre, in order to appeal to readers and fans already familiar with that genre. Yes – well, that helps a lot, Wikipedia. Thanks very much.
What genre fiction really means is that the book is a rollicking good read.
No snobbery here. No incomprehensible words, no fine writing like Robertson Davies and James Joyce -who I personally detest and have been unable to finish any of their books. don’t get me wrong – I am a voracious reader and love literary fiction and the classics, as well as other forms of fiction, What I do hate is the pomposity of authors like the two listed above.
Genre fiction can be broken down into several categories, although these keep changing:
Novels and Thrillers
Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series is fantastic with supernatural elements, but above all is a romance.
Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles is a superb read. For those of you who enjoy mythology, you will love the way he deals with many of the different world mythologies
(I absolutely loved Brandon Mull’s Fablehaven series. Have read it several times, and still find it fascinating)
All stories have elements which overlap one, two or three of these categories so sometimes writers wonder which genre they are officially writing in. What you need to consider is which area does the majority of the story land? Is the main thrust a romance or a mystery?
One of the main reasons you need to figure out which genre you are writing in is because bookstores need to know where to stack the books. All bookstores have labels such as Romance, Children’s, Teens, etc. If your novel is an orphan, they don’t know what to do with it. Therefore, make sure you know what category you are writing for. Children’s books are divided into even more sub-levels. There are books for children 6-8, 9-12, teens and the lower reading levels are sub-divided even more … but that’s the topic of another blog.
In the meanwhile, choose a genre and give it your main thrust.
2016 Creative Writing Classes at Beyond-The-Lamppost
Tues. afternoons January 12 – March 29 in Oakville “Shaping Your Story”
Wed. afternoons January 13 – March 30 in Oakville “Get Your Story Finished”
Thurs. afternoons January 14 – March 3 in Oakville “Almost there: Revising & Rewriting Your Manuscript”