Paint by Genre?

Submission protocol, query etiquette, and strategies that work
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NoReasonWriter
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Paint by Genre?

Post by NoReasonWriter » August 8th, 2011, 10:54 pm

So, based on what I've researched so far, I need to find an agent that represents my genre.
But what do I do if I'm not writing in a "traditional" genre?
My novel is not a young adult, or romance, etc. The closest I've found is the Wikipedia genre description for Vonnegut's Timequake "Semi-autobiographical novel; Fiction." But without rambling about my novel, that's the best I can do.

I have no idea how to even start looking for an agent for something like this. Any tips?

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Ishta
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Re: Paint by Genre?

Post by Ishta » August 9th, 2011, 2:29 am

There are a number of agents out there who represent "contemporary literary fiction", which might be a fit. But without knowing more about your novel, it's hard to say.

Why don't you ramble a bit here for us? Give us your one-sentence or one-paragraph pitch, or something like that, and we'll see what we come up with?

NoReasonWriter
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Re: Paint by Genre?

Post by NoReasonWriter » August 9th, 2011, 5:15 pm

Character A is writing the novel. He describes how every ideal has failed him. Character B falls in love with his muse (a dancer), but is forced to confront practical matters by an abusive lover. Driven by different modes of reasoning, logic and passion, the two plot lines converge, and you find out that they are the same person.
Wow, it sounds so much more cliche when you boil it down to a forum post.

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MattLarkin
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Re: Paint by Genre?

Post by MattLarkin » August 11th, 2011, 2:32 pm

Sounds like literary fiction to me. I guess depending on how it reads it could be psychological thriller.
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Ishta
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Re: Paint by Genre?

Post by Ishta » August 15th, 2011, 4:23 am

NoReasonWriter wrote:Character A is writing the novel. He describes how every ideal has failed him. Character B falls in love with his muse (a dancer), but is forced to confront practical matters by an abusive lover. Driven by different modes of reasoning, logic and passion, the two plot lines converge, and you find out that they are the same person.
Wow, it sounds so much more cliche when you boil it down to a forum post.
I agree that "Literary Fiction" or "psychological Thriller" sound like they might fit, depending on the book. "Literary Psychological Thriller"?

Have you written your query yet? If not, I highly recommend reading Nathan's posts on the subject, and posting your query in the forum here for feedback. That will help yo unarrow down what type of novel this is, as well.

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Watcher55
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Re: Paint by Genre?

Post by Watcher55 » August 20th, 2011, 2:18 pm

This seems to be a common dilemma. I sometimes wish there was a category called: literary alternate history science fiction fantasy YA epic (poetry has even been suggested - “It leads you to the answers, and you have to think back to find the questions”). I just picked the two most obvious genres (science fiction fantasy). Now I’m looking for agents who express an interest in the other genres just incase there’s a way to personalize the query and suggest possible crossovers (does the agent represent a book in one of my sub-genres, and can I make an honest comparison?).

Of course, I guess it pays to remember that all a query’s supposed to do is get your foot in the door; all the incidentals will be ironed out later.

TaylorNapolsky
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Re: Paint by Genre?

Post by TaylorNapolsky » September 24th, 2011, 2:37 am

by the way, NoReason, I think that synopsis you wrote sounds great!

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GingerWrite
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Re: Paint by Genre?

Post by GingerWrite » September 27th, 2011, 12:44 am

Sounds like literary fiction. Although if there are more action scenes or scenes of extreme tension it could be a psychological thriller. What you described sounds like a complicated plot. Kudos on coming up with it!
Is it a stand alone novel or does it have series potential?
"The more you read, the more you know. The more you know, the more you grow." - Dr. Suess
Worlds can grow and crumble beneath a writer's pen. We just need to find the right one.
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