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Thread: Genre classification for query

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW Jamills08's Avatar
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    Genre classification for query

    If GHOST were a novel, and Demi Moore fell in love with someone after Patrick Dwayne died, and there was a strong romantic element between two living people what would the genre be classified as. Romantic paranormal? Romantic fantasy? I think the movie is fantasy thriller but there's still no romance in there

  2. #2
    Just Another Lazy Perfectionist Brightdreamer's Avatar
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    Depends on what's emphasized, I'd think.

    Could be paranormal romance. Could be contemporary fantasy or urban fantasy. If the supernatural element was downplayed, it might even qualify as magic realism. I'd think it would only count as a thriller or horror if the paranormal element was intended to spook or scare. In the movie, Swayze's character was a protector and the MC. I recall it being more about the romance than the threat to Moore's character.
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  3. #3
    ....... Harlequin's Avatar
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    I don't think ghosts (on their own, nothing else) are fantasy at all. Surely that's very firmly in PNR?
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  4. #4
    practical experience, FTW Jamills08's Avatar
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    I would think it'd be paranormal romance....but then the ghost is not in a relationship and there's a lot of mystery and suspense like the movie ghost. It's the two people alive that are romantic and I feel like the genre paranormal romance implies there's a romance between paranormals

  5. #5
    figuring it all out gbondoni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamills08 View Post
    the ghost is not in a relationship and there's a lot of mystery and suspense like the movie ghost.
    Hmm... I might go for romance with paranormal elements and put it after the main body of the query explains what's going on.

  6. #6
    ....... Harlequin's Avatar
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    Mystery and suspense are just elements--most stories should have both of those. At the very least suspense.

    It's only when it becomes overriding as an element that it's genre defining (as in romance).

    I would say it is pnr on the grounds that it's romance with a paranormal setting, similar to how fantasy romance or historical romance is romance with a fantastical/historical setting.

    But I could be wrong. My gut instinct is to keep it simple though, re classification, or you risk sounding like you don't know your genre!
    Last edited by Harlequin; 08-08-2017 at 07:03 PM.
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  7. #7
    Sick and pale with grief. StoryofWoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamills08 View Post
    I would think it'd be paranormal romance....but then the ghost is not in a relationship and there's a lot of mystery and suspense like the movie ghost. It's the two people alive that are romantic and I feel like the genre paranormal romance implies there's a romance between paranormals
    Do both living characters have POVs? Most of the romances I've read are either single POV or dual POV between the love interests. If the story is told predominantly from the ghost's POV, and the ghost can't have an HEA (not a romantic one, at least), then I'd hesitate to call it a romance. Maybe paranormal with romantic elements? I suppose you could consider it a variation on the Love Triangle trope, but you'd have to include your "Demi Moore" character's POV and put significant page-time into building the love relationship that ends happily. Otherwise, I would question whether the focus of the book is the romance, or grief/letting go/moving on.
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  8. #8
    starting over Marian Perera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamills08 View Post
    If GHOST were a novel, and Demi Moore fell in love with someone after Patrick Dwayne died, and there was a strong romantic element between two living people what would the genre be classified as.
    Would the ghost play a role in the story? The presence of a ghost makes it a paranormal, unless this is like Stacia Kane's Downside series, where ghosts are part of the worldbuilding. Then it would be fantasy.

    Who does the story focus on? The ghost, or the woman's new relationship?

    IMO, you're right that "paranormal romance" generally means a relationship that involves someone paranormal. Otherwise it's like a vampire romance where the heroine's husband is turned into a vampire, so she moves on and falls in love with another guy, while the vampire ex-husband tries to get on with his afterlife. I'm willing to bet this isn't what most readers of vampire romance are expecting when they pick up a book labelled "vampire romance".

    Right now I'm querying a paranormal romance that has a ghost coming back to life and falling in love.
    Last edited by Marian Perera; 08-12-2017 at 01:36 PM.
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  9. #9
    practical experience, FTW Jamills08's Avatar
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    Interesting. This makes me want to keep my genre how it is. Romantic suspense. Bc, Marian, it's definitely not like your story. The dead guy stays dead in mine. The main focus of the story is finding the killer and the building romance of the woman. It's dual pov-the woman and the dead husband as he tries to find a way to help her and watches her fall in love with his ex best friend

  10. #10
    starting over Marian Perera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamills08 View Post
    It's dual pov-the woman and the dead husband as he tries to find a way to help her and watches her fall in love with his ex best friend
    It would be a good idea to read romantic suspense novels and see what POVs they're told from (and whether they contain paranormal elements like ghosts).

    The first steps in successfully subverting reader expectations are to know what those expectations are, why they exist, and how to work around them.
    Last edited by Marian Perera; 08-13-2017 at 04:29 AM.
    Historical romance : 2000 words.

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