We’re Writing Wednesday: What’s Your Genre?

Ack!  The Genre! What is it, where do I fit, how do I market, WHAT DO I DO?

We are going to start talking genres on Wednesday’s in with our writing tips.  Now obviously, or at least we hope so, writing is distinguishable by being either Fiction or Nonfiction.  Fiction of course means made up (or mostly) and Nonfiction means true story (in vague layman’s terms.)

Now from there, that is where we often get slapped with the question of “What’s next?”

A “simple” search of BOSAC codes will tell you that actual classifications for your title are about as plentiful as actual titles in this great sea of bookstores and libraries.

Nonfiction is generally broken down further into essays, biography, autobiography, and speech.

Fiction, on the other hand, is broken down into drama, poetry, fantasy, humor, fable, fairy tales, science fiction, short story, realistic fiction, folklore, historical fiction, horror, tall tales, legend, mystery, mythology, fiction in verse, and then of course, broken down into the more popular sub-genres that we often toss around when describing our manuscript.

Whew.  That is a lot to take in and a lot to think about, isn’t it?  Well, lucky for you we are going to take one genre subcategory each Wednesday, tell you what it is, and the further breakdowns in that category.  If all goes well, we will finish describing and teaching you about genres by the time we are retired and buried.  If not, can we get a volunteer to take over the task?  Anyone?


Well, we will just work extra hard to get it finished.  Correctly categorizing your book and knowing your genre not only helps you market your piece, but it helps you look more credible in the eyes of those who might pick up your book or add it to their store’s stock.

Nothing is more frustrating than getting a book titled “Suspense” only to find there was absolutely nothing suspenseful about anything written in the pages.  Likewise, putting your book into a category that it might halfway fit into might damage your potential.

We have said it before, we will say it again.

Know your genres, work your genres, and be proud of them.

Next week we will start with nonfiction and then work through fiction.  I know, I know, moans of disapproval but it is estimated that 80%+ of all written books fall into the nonfiction genre.  Would you have guessed that?  Probably not, but it’s true, and so that is where we shall begin.

Any questions on genres, categorizing, or the such can be added into the comments and we will address them as we approach that topic.



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