Wednesday, 16 June 2010

What Genre Are You?

I'm curious.  When your family and friends first find out you are writing - what's their reaction?  Is it pregnant silence before recovering with faint smile...yes dear, always knew you were a little loopy...now did I tell you about the teacake your Aunt Edie served up yesterday? Shocking...really.

Or, perhaps you get that sideways glance, subtle rearing of head with raised eyebrows...Really? How exciting, er...what do you mean, like...writing a book? 

Quite funny isn't it?  How about if a complete stranger asks 'what genre are you?'   Followed through with...'and why did you choose to write that?'  Why the devil would you want to write about that...silly girl. 

Personally, my favourite reaction is the excited squeals, jumping up and down, hugs and 'Wow! Thats awesome...cheers!'

We are told that its the writer's job to know their genre - true.  You should know your genre and your reader.  However I often ponder this whole 'pigeon-holing' business.  Are there genre-pigeon-hole police? What happens if you decide to cross the borders?  Say, from Historical Romance to Paranormal Young Adult or dare I suggest Chicklit to Sci-fi Fantasy.  I mean what are the rules about pigeon-holes and writers?  And who decides what a genre is?

Tell me, how did you choose your genre and why?  And do you ever want to cross that border?


Aunt Edie's teacake...a dollop of cream...shockingly sinful


A/N: 
For the record, my lovely family and friends have been very supportive cheerleaders! Yah Team Scribe!

14 comments:

  1. I really struggle to identify what my genre is. It's not chick flick, although there are elements of this, and it's not all out erotica, although the scenes are rather, well, explicit at times. I usually say 'contemporary love stories' which sounds dreadful. Pigeon holing is awful because people will make their minds up whether to buy your work based solely on this label, and sometimes it's so damned wrong! ps. glad you family are cheerleaders, mine are too! xx

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm a YA fantasy writer, though I have a story that would classify as adult horror (teaser tuesday this week). I would rather write the fantasy genre but hey I don't choose the ideas they just fall in my lap!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi K, its a dilemma isn't it? My WIP is a love story, and there are so many genres it could be shelved on. I need to research Contemporary Romance, Womens fiction and similar genres as I think they do cross over. What I notice in bookstores - they're all jumbled together. Very confusing and alot of readers do buy based on the pigeon-holing system. Thanks for visiting, I know you are superbusy. ;) Yah Team K! *shakes pom-poms*

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oooh Jen - I'm going to check out your adult horror story. I love YA fantasy too, see I can't be pigeon-holed in my reading preferences either. Good point on ideas, I wonder if genres choose us rather than vice versa? Thanks for posting & lovely to see you again! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yummy tea cake!

    I write chick lit, which usually meets with some kind of reaction like: 'Oh, just for women, then.' Or a pat on the head.

    ARGH!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I write chick lit. Otherwise known as women's fiction. I'm told a lot that chick lit is dead. I say no, it's alive and well thanks and piss off. I'm kidding. I don't say that but I do think it when someone makes a snide comment.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ah Talli! See - that must be so frustrating. Now thats why I'm a little perplexed with this whole pigeonhole business. Its the nee for labels that people have. I'd be tempted to pat them back on the head and tell them to run along...real fast. hehe. *sighs* Have some cake dear and a glass of wine.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hello Whispering Writer, welcome! *waves* As long as there's women walking this earth and we're reading - there will always be Chicklit -Womens Fiction! Absolutely tell them to naff off. Thanks so much for posting and do come visit again! Cheers ;)

    ReplyDelete
  9. My friends just nod knowingly when I say I write fantasy. I'm a dreamer and a romantic. You have to be something -- why not that? Roland

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ah, this so true, Roland. Why not that indeed. Its great to have the support and encourage from such friends! Thanks for visiting. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  11. My first rejection was because my ms was not 100% historical romance. It straddled the line between chick lit and historical fiction. Sigh. Okay, but it's too optimistic to be historical fiction and too historical romance to be straight up chick lit.

    Pigeon holing is a pain in the butt.

    As to reactions? I've stopped telling people that I write. They always ask what books I've written and if they've read them. The fact that I'm not published diminishes my credibility with them. They don't understand that my publication status has nothing to do with the fact that I'm a writer. So, when asked what I do, I tell them about my teaching job. Partly out of cowardice, partly because I don't want to explain it to people who really don't care.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hello Erin! Thanks so much for posting, and sharing your ms experience. This is exactly the type of pigeon holing I'm curious about. What happens next, how do you decide to choose either chick lit or historical romance?

    Thats also an good point about publication status. Some people immediately assume writers works are published right away, they have no idea how hard it is. Good luck!! And thank you for the following!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. My friends say am a dreamer, some family members say i have lost my mind and lovers say am a free spirit and a romantic soul. Whatever it is am open to suggestions :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hello Wild Rose, welcome! Free spirit and romantic soul sound pretty wonderful to me! ;) Thanks so much for visiting and posting! Do come again!

    ReplyDelete