View Full Version : Could you please help me define the genre

02-17-2007, 10:41 PM
of my WIP.

I started it as non-fiction – pop psychology, but it’s written from the point of view of an animal (so is it still non-fiction? All the facts, theories and descriptions are research-based = non-fiction?) Besides, all the examples to illustrate the main points are from real life, they did happen – i.e. ‘bits of memoire’?
So is it fiction or non-fiction? Mock-fiction? Mock-NF?

02-18-2007, 12:51 AM
Offhand, I would say it's still non-fiction since the main focus is still actual psychology. It would be a little like a Sesame Street character explaining the number 6, it's didactic even if the "presenter" is a talking chicken.

02-18-2007, 01:14 AM
Thanks a lot, Alleycat.

The Lady
02-18-2007, 08:00 AM
It seems to be inventing its own genre. What age group are you aiming it for and is the animal narrator really necessary? As I'm trying to figure have I ever seen anything like what you described in book form, I'm getting an idea of one of those coffee table books with cutesy yet clever stuff under the pictures. Who would buy this book and why? Where would it be shelved? In the self help section or in the gift book spot? Whimsical or serious?

02-18-2007, 09:15 PM
Just my opinion.
Point of view from an animal -- talking? I think YA
Since we don't really know what the animal thinks or feels -- I think Fiction.
Just because some examples from real life are used, I don't think that necessarily means memoirs. But since its based heavily on psychology, perhaps Psychological YA Fiction?

I don't want to confuse you further, I just wanted to offer up an opinion, since so many people have offered up their opinions for me and gave me so many different ways to think about my work.


02-18-2007, 09:22 PM
I think we need to clarify the goal of the book. Is it a story or is it meant to teach something. If it is a story it would probably be MG (I think YA is a little old to be honest), but if it is like what alleycat was saying, then it sounds like the sort of book a kid could use as research then it would go under non-fiction.

Either way I do not think it is a book for adults, especially as an instructional tool. Adults would probably find a talking animal teaching them psych as slightly cloying. I would imagine at least.

02-20-2007, 02:11 AM
Have you ever read Sophie's World? This reminds me of that in some ways. Basically it weaves a fictional story about a girl in with actual information about Philosophy and Philosophers. I'm not entirely sure what genre it would be. I think defining the purpose of the book and the audience it's aimed at would be the first place to start.

Now, if it's a textbook style book with a fun twist, then that makes it nonfiction.

But if it reads like a novel while incorporating this factual information, then it would be fiction. You might want to wikipedia fiction and nonfiction genres. Then read the descriptions of the different genres and see which fits best.

It also comes down to how you would like it to be marketed/how you think it will sell best. are you looking to market it to schools and teachers? Or are you looking to market it to people who will read it for enjoyment? I imagine it falls somewhere inbetween this, so think about which it leans towards more.

good luck with this!