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How much should I specify genre?

Posted: July 25th, 2010, 1:15 am
by heyimkt
I've been thinking about the branding concept and labeling WIPs certain genres a lot lately, and I can't help but feel like my just completed WIP's genre is, like, vague.
To me, it seems more as plain YA fiction, but there's a slight dystopian twist that throws me off. It does play a big part, but compared to other books, it doesn't seem as "strong" of a dystopian feel/issue. Also, the story focuses a bit more on characters than the dystopian plot part of the book. Overall, this dystopian part of it sets off the story and makes it unique (I think haha). So I guess my question is this: When I start to query, should I label it as a YA dystopian? Maybe some other genre? Or call it YA with a dystopian twist?

Anybody else have this issue? Hope that all made sense... :)

Re: How much should I specify genre?

Posted: July 25th, 2010, 2:05 am
by AnimaDictio
You shouldn't specify it much. You don't want to box yourself. Tailor each query letter to the agent. The agent will probably pay less attention to the fancy genre, e.g. "YA with a dystopian twist" and more attention to the query. If you describe the dystopian elements of the story in the actual query, the agent will get the idea.

You won't get too much traction by using a super specific genre.

Re: How much should I specify genre?

Posted: July 25th, 2010, 11:19 am
by dios4vida
I agree with AnimaDictio.

Re: How much should I specify genre?

Posted: July 25th, 2010, 1:31 pm
by sbs_mjc1
I agree: you might want to specify more depending on the agent. (For example, someone who represents both YA and speculative dystopian fiction). Otherwise, genre wiggle-room works in your favor.