I had a ridiculous dream last night. This is what I remember:
I was arguing with someone in an elevator. "You're supposed to know where we're going!" Someone said, in an exasperated voice.
Feeling confused and a bit exasperated myself, I looked down at the elevator buttons. In glowing letters, they said:
YA Paranormal Romance
etc. etc. You get the idea. I have been endlessly frustrated by what genre SHARDS OF GLASS is, and as I'm moving forward on other writing projects, it's not getting any easier. With SHARDS, I said, "Oh, I won't worry about genre now; I'll know what it is when it's finished."
Yes, about that. It's finished, and determining how to describe it in a query letter is more painful than the edits. At first, I was thinking chick lit, but chick lit doesn't generally involve heavy topics like, oh, assisted suicide. It's hard for me to call it literary fiction (which sounds pretentious for my surprisingly bubbly little novel). Nothing about suicide screams "commercial" to me. I have no idea what I'm doing here, people.
I look at my theme and plot summary for THE GODDESS OF VENGEANCE WORE PINK GALOSHES, and again, I have no idea what genre this would be. I think of it as chick lit, but is anyone goes to accept chick lit with a strong horror element? At least this time, I know writing it is not going to clear up the mystery.
What's the answer here? After some research, I'm going with "Women's fiction". Women's fiction is supposed to focus on the story of a woman or on women's issues (Interesting article on women's fiction vs. romance here). While I think the issues in my novels are universal (the complicated nature of suicide for the terminally ill, the role and hazards of vengeance in a society), I have strong female protagonists. Although my hunky male Marine friend loved the draft he read of SHARDS, somehow I expect more women will be drawn to these titles than men. So women's fiction it is.
What genre(s) do you write? Every any moments of doubt about what genre, exactly, a story was trying to be?
6 hours ago