View Full Version : Genre question

09-05-2005, 11:40 PM
I thought I had this worked out in my mind...but now I'm second guessing myself. I posted my query in share your work looking for some help and someone asked me if the work was truly romance or women's fiction...

I thought it was romance but maybe how I'm writing the query makes it sound different. Essentially though, if you strip out the romance, the book is dead and in the end, the MC's end up together...that's the goal of the book.

Here's the quick and dirty version: Woman leaves physically abusive relationship, finds a job in another state (far away so boyfriend can't track her down), falls for a married man (obvious mutual attraction), his wife is a junkie and a cheater...is killed in a car crash, MC's hook up for a night, it's too soon for him they fight the attraction, ex-boyfriend finds her, shoots new man, but she ends up killing him, they eventually end up together. The end.

Wow, sounds kind of cliche like that! lol I promise it's better than that, really.

This is a romance though, right? Not women's fiction because of the fact that a fair amount of the book focus's on her getting her life together.

Thanks in advance!!

09-05-2005, 11:45 PM
You could market it either way probably BUT if the story isn't there without the romance I'd say it's more romance, however it's not typical. Check out that website I mentioned earlier www.agentquery.com They have in depth guidlines as to what is considered what genre. Also, they agent / publisher can always decide to say it is something different. You could also call it Womens fiction with strong romantic elements, that would pretty much cover it.

09-06-2005, 01:25 AM
Don't worry, all synopses sound cliche. ;)

But I don't think it sounds like a typical romance novel, it sounds a lot more like a thriller.

Cathy C
09-06-2005, 04:17 AM
someone asked me if the work was truly romance or women's fiction...
That would be me... ;)

This is a romance though, right? Not women's fiction because of the fact that a fair amount of the book focus's on her getting her life together.

This issue is the very reason I brought up the question. Women's fiction is the genre that focuses on the woman getting her life together. There might well be a love interest and she might well end up with the man at the end. But the book focuses on her needs, her goals and her crisis. Not all Women's fiction is drama. Some is action-adventure, science fiction, comedy or even paranormal.

Romance is the genre that focuses on the man and woman getting THEIR lives together. The book might be told from the POV of the man or woman, but they each need to have needs met. So, the question becomes --- how much of the book is spent on the hero's story? For a romance, it should be about 50/50 on reaching the goals of each party. Both the hero and heroine should have some fault/issue/problem that the addition of the other person helps solve or heal.

The way the query is presently written, it sounds like Shawna's story. The hero feels like an afterthought. Now, if that's not the case, then the query should also focus on his issues. You mentioned the junkie wife here, but that wasn't in the query. See where I'm headed?

I don't know for sure which it is without more information. I only raised the question because it seemed unclear. If you want to give more info, I'm sure that the others here will help you work it out so you're targeting the right publishers. :)

09-06-2005, 06:11 AM
Thanks Cathy...Sorry, I posted this quick and didn't have time to go back and see who originally brought up the question on my other post. :)

Once I really started looking at it I got myself confused. Probably 25% of the book is from hero's POV the rest is Shawna's and maybe 1% from other more minor characters. I probably need to mention hero's problems also to make the fact that he has his own set of problems more clear. In the end, she saves him physically but he has saved her emotionally, KWIM? I kind of thought something like romantic suspense but really the suspense part only comes in towards the end, the rest is getting them together.

I'm going to go with contemporary romance, I think. Back to work on the query...I wish I would have done this about twenty queries ago!

Thanks again everyone!