Figuring Genre

I was taking my usual tour of the blogs yesterday when I stopped over at Scott Eagan's blog. I bug him from time to time because he's usually real informative, tells it like it is according to him, and doesn't have a problem with answering questions. He was blogging about mixing genres. This got me into thinking. When I first started writing it was purely a love connection. I didn't consider my target audience. All I knew without a doubt was that I liked what I was writing. The story pleased me. The characters were unique. If I enjoyed it then someone else would also. Then I happened upon a book signing. The authors were spouting information about genre this and genre that. Wait, I was supposed to worry about that?

Genre: A category of artistic composition, as in music or literature, characterized by similarities in form, style, or subject matter.  

The dictionary was not real helpful. Needless to say I have mistargeted my share of agents in the past. Scott once offered a nifty piece of advice. He said to go to libraries or book stores and spend some time reading books in the various genres to see where we fit the best. This was helpful, except there are so many books.

I've also heard it said that the setting for fantasy is usually in the past or in an imaginary world. They speak of knights and castles, dragons and demons, but there is really so much more to fantasy. My stories are set in another world altogether. I've always felt that I walked a fine line between fantasy and science fiction because they complement each other, but the fact is that there is no way that what I write is real or possibly explained by any branch of science.

Someone else mentioned that in order to choose a genre you need to hone in on what your conflict is in the story. Again, I was walking that thin line.

Then one day while I was tugging at my hair like a mad woman trying to find where exactly I fit in, I happened upon this way cool site.

Check out below.

When you visit this site, it lists the many genres. If you click on one, it will offer a brief description and show you books that fit into it. This was a Godsend. So I thought I'd share for anyone out there suffering from a common affliction with first time writers. Go ahead and play with it. It's fun.

Have a great day!

What in the World????


  1. Oooh clickies... I like... thanks for sharing... I'm an epic fantasy genre writer, woot.

  2. Mike. Glad you like the clicky thing. I spent a while playing with it when I first discovered it. It's always nice to share.

  3. What a great site! I bookmarked it. It still didn't list "my" genre though--light sci-fi. It has "soft sci-fi" but that's not the same as light sci-fi. Guess there are sub-sub categories too!

    There's also magical realism, which is not listed there. That's a contemporary setting with magical elements or a magical twist. I blogged about genre a while back, kind of the same thing only briefer, here:

    Artzicarol Ramblings: GENRE

    Your genre sounds interesting! ;o)

  4. @Carol. Thanks for the additional info on genre. I'll check it out. There's always a loophole. :)

  5. My genre's there! Space Opera. :)

    Thanks for the link!

  6. Is it sad that whenever I see my genre listed (paranormal romance) I want to cheer like it's the home team? Haha Thanks for the link! :)

  7. I didn't see "male?"



  8. Huh, where did that last line come from? Blogger has a mind of it's own.

    @Golden Eagle. I had no idea you write Space Opera...way cool.

    @Carrie. In addition to Fantasy I write Paranormal Romance too. Let's cheer for the team!

    @Bryce. You crack me up.

  9. That confirms it...I seem to be firmly in Space Opera.

  10. Great site for fiction writing, now I just need to figure where my kangaroo books fit. I know one is a children's book, but the other is adult non-fiction of some sort... Anyway I also think you may be breaking new ground and creating a new genre so feel free to stay out of any box :-) Thanks for visiting Kangaroos!

  11. @Botanist. You're the second person to say he writes Space Opera. Wow, did not peg you for a fantasy writer. Way cool!

    @Cheryl. Too bad you can't use the site for non-fiction. I guess I always thought of non-fiction as just that, but there are tons of ways to classify it. If I find anything on non-fic, I'll let you know.


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