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Thread: A little bit of everything

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW meowzbark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012

    A little bit of everything

    I need some help defining what genre my WIP is.

    Blurb: When Claire’s cousin, Jesse, moves upstate, she no longer has a guardian angel to protect her from her parents, particularly her abusive mother. Unable to cope alone, fourteen-year-old Claire meddles in witchcraft with Jesse’s long-distance girlfriend in the hope that they can bring Jesse home. Rather than Jesse, his father (Uncle Doug) returns and lives with Claire and her mother. Although Uncle Doug offers some buffer to her mother's temper, he loses own at the slightest mention of Jesse. Claire’s worst fears are confirmed when Jesse shows up and claims his father wants to kill him. Now she must protect him and discover what secret her uncle is hiding before Uncle Doug finds out about hers.

    My story has sections of child abuse, death, religious references, ghosts, and spell-casting/witchcraft but the novel doesn't stray too far from realism. I'm not sure what sub genre of YA this would be: horror, supernatural fantasy, dark fantasy...or something else.

  2. #2
    Huh. kkbe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Left of center
    Fantasy mix? Misc. Paranormal? I found a website that might help you figure it out. It contains descriptions of genres and sub-genres: http://www.adriannadane.com/genresandsubgenres.html

    Good luck!
    From TWINK:
    “Pops says, ‘Sure boy, you can have a beer. You catch my fish yet?’ and I say, ‘No, Pops,’ and he pokes Doug and laughs and says, ‘We gotta change the bait. I know, let’s get us one of his goddamn Twinkie toes and put that on a hook,” then he looks at me and says, ‘Sound good to you, boy?’ ”

    /my blog/

    Rep'd by Brent Taylor, Triada US Lit. Agency

  3. #3
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    I'd start by distinguishing in your own mind what you're writing from what you're selling. Make sure you know what you want to do -- and it sounds as if you do -- and then finish it in the way that feels right.

    After that, set out to decide how you want to sell it. That's when the question of genre seems to me to matter, not while you're writing.

    In other words, you don't need to write in a genre; you just need to publish in one, so why not try putting your finished work in as many sub-genres as you can imagine it, in as many different query letters as possible? Some won't work at all, but others will emerge as good fits. If you end up with two or three good fits, consider pitching your book in different ways to different agents.

  4. #4
    Still confused by shoelaces Once!'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Godalming, England
    I'm thinking dark fantasy if - and only if - the witchcraft actually works. As soon as you introduce the theme of spell-casting it is very hard to persuade your readers that you are not in a fantasy world. Throw in a contemporary setting and elements of romance/ relationships, and dark fantasy seems to fit (as well as being reasonably saleable at the mo).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    USA... sometimes.
    I'd go with dark fantasy since that can also cover supernatural fantasy and horror. If you want to play it safe, just label it fantasy and have the agent/publisher decide.


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