As I enter the last stages of the edits times infinity, I look at what needs to do be done next and something seems to be escaping me. I keep hearing the same things come up. The questions of “who is my audience” and “what is your genre?” My first reaction to this is that my audience are readers and my genre is fiction. I’ve simplified it in my mind because I would like to think that any adult can pick this up and read it.
But then I had to take time to critically analyze the self publishing and traditional publishing industries and came to the conclusion that there are a lot more questions that I need to ask and answer. Right now, the question is when the fuck and I going to be done with this? But I have to force myself to be patient otherwise any sense of rush will show on the pages. My second question is how do I categorize this book? Those who have read the unedited version have told me that women would be the intended audience. I would also like to think a certain portion of men would read it too…divorced men.
The premise of the novel is not only centered around men and the bad decisions they make but how they deal with it. Divorce, sex, friendships, racism, and family are all there in the novel. I would just assume that that divorced men would have a bit more of an interest in this because of the content. However, I know that the way the book is written, my audience will probably veer toward women. There is a certain “novela” feel that the book has that should be attractive to those who read such things.
However, there are plenty of references to Hip Hop and other music genres that not only define me but define my generation. While, I don’t bombard the reader with musical references too much, they are there. There is much to be said about how music is a part of someone’s life. There is no way I can write a first person narrative and not include some elements of that. Those elements were not there as much during the first two drafts but considering how draft three has just been completed, the musical elements have been added to provide yet another layer to the reader’s experience.
That is why it is so hard for me to come up with a genre. There are so many layers. Is there a sub genre of divorce? I suppose there is if I can type it into Goodreads and it gives me a list. The problem is that I don’t want to stick to those types of stories in the future. I suppose the novel could be a romantic story in some real way. However, I do slap people in the face with the realities of how men can be. Can there be a reality genre in fiction? In any case, I think I should look toward my beta readers to determine what a genre should look like.
But let me also take this a step further, this whole genre thing has been another way research “the competition.” I say that in quotes because it has been suggested that I see what is out there in terms of similar titles and book covers. I consider a book cover to be very important. Some people will at least read the opening chapter just because of the cover.
The one thing that is working in my favor is the title has not been used and fiction books about divorce from the man’s side are not common. Add the fact that the protagonist is Latino makes it just about rare. So hopefully I can carve a little nitch for myself in this area.
I’m so ready for this book to come out.
2 thoughts on “Genre? What Genre?”
If you query an agent and say to them “My genre is realistic fiction,” they’re going to laugh their asses off at you and put your letter in the discard pile immediately. Literary agents hate that sort of thing. Just call it “dramatic fiction” or something. You’re going to give a synopsis of the story anyway – they’re not idiots, they’re going to understand that it’s not fantasy or science fiction. That is, if you decide to go through an agent.
Well, I wasn’t really serious about the realistic fiction part, but dramatic fiction is a better way to put it. Thanks.