Okay, so writing my first novel was awesome. It was a rush. After three months of wonderful key-pounding, I cradled the manuscript pages like a proud new mama.
Little did I know it was just like when I brought my firstborn home from the hospital. Now the real work began. My manuscript wasn’t finished. There were many, many revisions to be made – buffing and polishing to be done.
Then came the summary and query letter. I needed to know what genre my story was.
That’s easy. It’s fiction, right? How many genres could there be? As I looked into it, the horror crept in. (Yes, that’s a genre, but not mine.)
According to Wikipedia, genre may be determined by: literary technique, tone, content, or even length. Cultural movements (think Twilight) create new genres. Did you know there’s even a Robinsonian genre for Robinson Crusoe-style books? Neither did I.
There are impressive and intimidating lists of genres and subgenres. Here are a few good sites:
You should also know and follow the guidelines for your genre, such as word count. Here’s a site that’s a great help:
Once you think you’ve got your genre and subgenre pinned down, here comes the fun part. Go find and read books in your genre. Read lots of them. That’s how I figured out that my book was NOT what I thought it was. I got to do more research and read some more great books. Then I figured it out.
Now, here we are, four books later. I actually like revising, polishing and genre hunting. I have to be honest and say that writing the query still stinks, but it’s getting easier.
So go forth, visit some great sites, read some fun books, and happy genre hunting!