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????