Authors Notes| What do you Write?
When we talk about writing, we eventually come to the question of what type of writing do you do. In all honesty, this is a fair question for someone to ask you because 1. they are interested, 2. there are so many genres, and 3. there are so many ways to write any of those genres. Maybe you’re a paranormal romance writer. You could also be writing biographies. Perhaps you only do short stories. Whatever you write it’s important to be able to describe your writing style and genre. This not only helps you write the stories you love, but it helps your publishing team know how to market you. They can’t market you as a fiction writer if you’re writing an unabridged history of the Ivory Coast. You could do some of every genre in different days. No one is telling you how to write, but we are saying that to sell your book, you have to know who you are selling your book to.
As an example of how to classify yourself for marketing purposes, I’ve picked out a few types of genres that might describe your story. First, though we need to discuss the actual story. The words you put to paper are important, but the number of words you put on paper is just as important. As we move through this article remember that:
Flash Fiction is 1,000+
Short Story 7,000+
Novel 50,000 +
Okay, since we have that squirreled away let’s spend some time talking about genres. Please note that these are listed in groups of the overall genre. They can cross and meld as the writer works You will know which main genre you write in by which of these elements are most important to the story. For instance, if you write a romantic horror story you’ll know it’s a romance because romance is the main part of the plot. If horror is the main part of the plot then it’s going to be marketed as a horror story. I have an extensive break down of horror that can be found here. I write fiction, so that is what I will be discussing on this page. If you would like me to do an article on non-fiction comment below!
Romance– We all know what romance is. Boy meets girl, girl meets boy, and they have to find a way to be together despite whatever circumstance keeps them apart. There are a lot of sub-genres that go into romance like historical, Gothic, paranormal, contemporary, and erotica. However, they are usually marketed towards women of all stages, and as early as the age of 16, because YA (young adult) is a market.
Science Fiction– This covers so much, you have dystopian, steampunk, cyberpunk, post-apocalyptic, dieselpunk. Science fiction is one of the broadest types of fiction because it can cover so many eras and tastes. There is something in science fiction for you. Maybe you’re a cottagecore aesthetic lover who goes to pubs on the weekends. Steampunk is your friend. You color your hair and play video games in competitions? Cyberpunk might be your sub-genre.
Crime Fiction– This usually shows up as a mystery, suspense, or thriller. Something menacing is happening or has happened and your protagonist has to figure out what to do. There is a puzzle involved that needs solving. You may even see a dead body or two. However, it is separate from horror because what was done to the body is less important than how the dead body was created. So, in a horror, you’re focused on keeping what was done to the victim from happening to anyone else. In mystery, suspense, or thriller you are focused on how it was done to figure who did it. There is less likely to be a “what” killed the person as opposed to a “who” killed the person. Eighty percent of the time the antagonist is a human being.
Fantasy– Do I hear the singing of sirens? The chanting of elves? Well, it looks like we are in the world of fantasy! Fantasy is also a very large genre because it has tons of sub-genres. Some of the most popular include high, Gothic, sword and sorcery, and urban. Like the other genres, they can also cross-genre. You may have a fantasy that is also a mystery. However, like the other genres, the mystery is less important then what makes the world fantasy. A lot of what makes fantasy is the world that the story is set in. Your readers are going to be exploring a vast world that you have created with its own rules. It may look like earth, or be completely different earth like a planet with four moons that control eight different oceans.
Just remember you can write and mix as many genres as you choose. Your responsibility is making sure that as you write you know how you plan on marketing your story once it’s finished.