Help with genre

The writing process, writing advice, and updates on your work in progress
Post Reply
User avatar
Philabuster
Posts: 66
Joined: August 27th, 2011, 3:47 pm
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Help with genre

Post by Philabuster » July 30th, 2012, 4:47 pm

So I am about 50k words into my roughly 80k word MS and I'm having a tough time focusing on the genre of my story...

The synopsis: Deep in the middle of nowhere lies a hotel/casino where my MC Martin loses everything. He loses his money, his girlfriends money, his bosses money, and struggles with the thought of ending it all. Before he does, he meets some nefarious characters in the hotel...other guests, people that work there, and ultimately ends up helping himself by helping them.

When I first started writing the book I paid little attention to the genre. I just enjoyed writing the story. Now that I'm almost beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel, I've started thinking about cover ideas (I'm going to self publish), editors I'd like to talk to, and of course what genre to list it under.

The majority of the characters age are in their late twenties, Martin is closer to his mid thirties. The story itself contains some mature content...too mature for YA. But then it is also supposed to be like a fun romp...so not too mature that it becomes a supers serious book.

I was on twitter recently and there was a discussion over NewAdult genre and I'm wondering if this would apply to me. I can assume the audience which would probably enjoy it the most would be New Adults (twenty through twenty nine) so would this classify me as NA? I did some research and most other NA books out there seem to be largely Fantasy or Romance...Mine's neither.

Should I even be concerning myself with this? Should I stop cruising Bransforums and Twitter all the time and get back to writing? Probably, but I'd still like to know.

User avatar
AnimaDictio
Posts: 158
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 1:07 am
Contact:

Re: Help with genre

Post by AnimaDictio » July 30th, 2012, 4:54 pm

I've never heard of NewAdult. When you publish to Kindle can't you pick more than one category? If not, I wouldn't want to limit myself with an unheard-of genre.

Sommer Leigh
Moderator
Posts: 1624
Joined: April 2nd, 2010, 11:07 pm
Location: Omaha, NE
Contact:

Re: Help with genre

Post by Sommer Leigh » July 30th, 2012, 7:10 pm

New Adult is a sort of genre that hasn't quite come to fruition and that a lot of the publishing world think won't ever come about or won't come about for another 10-20 years...approximately how much time it took for YA to become a thing you could go to the bookstore and ask about.

The problem is, YA is not really a genre. YA is an audience. Middle grade is an audience. Within YA there are genres just like within regular fiction - thrillers, paranormal, urban fantasy, fantasy, sci-fi, contemporary, horror, etc, etc. YA as an audience is confined between 13 years old and 18 years old because that's generally when you have the experiences and "First Times" that make up the foundation of YA storytelling. The coming of age tales. After 18 you shift into your adult years and you're no longer having those coming of age stories, you're finding yourself as an adult and the struggles that entail. Everything outside of YA falls into fiction and the genres within, and sort of gets defaulted as "Adult."

New Adult as an audience are for the in-between. Very specifically, the college students. The 18-25 who are figuring out college or grad school, living on their own, getting into adult themed situations and being treated as adult situations, not the fade-to-black of YA. It's young and old at the same time, and really hard to market because of it's narrow focus. (Think of the movie Reality Bites and you're at the upper edge of this age block.)

But even if it were to catch on and you go walk into a B&N and find the section called New Adult, it's still an audience, not a genre. You still need to pick your genre. College with vampires? College with romance? College with a serial killer? College in space? So you haven't escaped the original problem.

But despite all this, you have one big problem with considering calling your book "New Adult."

It doesn't exist. At least, not where you want to sell it. You can't walk into a B&N and go to the New Adult section. When you self-publish, there's no category called "New Adult" on Amazon, Smashwords, B&N, Kobo, Sony, Apple, etc.

The awesome agent Sarah LaPolla has a great blog post about the future of "New Adult." She thinks it'll probably become a thing, but it will take a long time before it does because right now it's just not marketable.http://bigglasscases.blogspot.com/2011/ ... in-ya.html

To your other question about whether you should be concerning yourself with it, I absolutely think you do. 1) You definitely need to write the story the way it is supposed to be written 2) but you also need to know how you're going to sell it when you're done. So you've got to find a good balance between the two. It'll be tough when you finish and you have no idea how you're going to categorize it or market it with language readers will understand.

I hope that helps a little? Congratulations on deciding to self publish! I think that's a very bold move.
May the word counts be ever in your favor. http://www.sommerleigh.com
Be nice, or I get out the Tesla cannon.

User avatar
polymath
Posts: 1821
Joined: December 8th, 2009, 11:22 am
Location: Babel
Contact:

Re: Help with genre

Post by polymath » July 30th, 2012, 7:17 pm

Literature age range categories generally follow psychological development ranges. An alternative to new adult is early adult, ages eighteen to twenty-five. Middle adulthood begins at twenty-five. Early adult is characterized as the age range when adults are first fully legally responsible for their actions but not yet fully physically or emotionally mature.

A common early adult characterization is a desire to engage in all the rights and privileges of adulthood but minimalize, avoid, or deny the responsibilities and obligations. Like young adult, early adult is an age of intitiation, an age when early adults still engage in fun for fun's sake but avoid consequences for their actions. That's the initiation, into managing responsibility and obligations. The term "youthful indiscretions" applies as much to early adult as it does to young adult, maybe more because early adults are held responsible for their actions more seriously than young adults.

I think "new adult" is a misnomer because what's new about becoming an adult begins at late middle grade age with the onset of puberty. New adult also has a connotative association with New Age that I think belittles an age range category. The debate between which will prevail in the end, new adult or early adult, continues, though.

Otherwise, age ranges are a separate category from mannerism and content. Late adult literary fiction adventure, for example, might apply to Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea. Age range, mannerism, content.

Yours seems to me an early to middle adult mainstream fiction adventure. Maybe a picaresque: the episodic adventures of a roguish protagonist. One feature of meaningful and acclaimed early adult fiction that sets it aside from the dross is personal growth at a personal cost. Perhaps the protagonist isn't so easily absolved for losing everyone's money.
Spread the love of written word.

User avatar
Mira
Posts: 1354
Joined: December 7th, 2009, 9:59 am
Contact:

Re: Help with genre

Post by Mira » July 31st, 2012, 2:22 am

Hmmm. I wouldn't classify it as New Adult because you might miss out on readers. Even if the characters are in their 20s, older folk may still identify with them and enjoy the book.

I think I'd classify it as adult fiction. Although, it's really hard to know without reading it. It could be a mystery? Thriller?

The interesting thing is that I predict books will soon be able to be listed under multiple genres. E-books don't require shelf space, so why not put it in different sections of the e-book store? But until, if and when, that happens, for your book, I might imagine walking into a bookstore, and then imagine which section your book would be in.

Hopefully, that's helpful! Congrats on almost being done, btw!

Sommer Leigh
Moderator
Posts: 1624
Joined: April 2nd, 2010, 11:07 pm
Location: Omaha, NE
Contact:

Re: Help with genre

Post by Sommer Leigh » July 31st, 2012, 9:29 am

Mira wrote: The interesting thing is that I predict books will soon be able to be listed under multiple genres. E-books don't require shelf space, so why not put it in different sections of the e-book store? But until, if and when, that happens, for your book, I might imagine walking into a bookstore, and then imagine which section your book would be in.
You do get to select more than one genre at most e-book sellers (like Amazon.) Amazon lets you select 2. I think B&N lets you select 2 as well.
May the word counts be ever in your favor. http://www.sommerleigh.com
Be nice, or I get out the Tesla cannon.

User avatar
Philabuster
Posts: 66
Joined: August 27th, 2011, 3:47 pm
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Re: Help with genre

Post by Philabuster » July 31st, 2012, 2:37 pm

Huge help everybody! I have a clearer idea on where my book stands now, and what NA really is.

About to start the third and final act. Oh boy.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest