25 August 2011

Crazy Little Thing Called Genre

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Throughout the process of writing the MS I'm currently querying I have struggled with which genre it fits into. It started out with a romantic idea at its heart. Then the MC's character development (and key events influencing it) began to play a large part in the story, so I researched genres.

I concluded I should call it women's fiction with strong romantic elements. I liked the idea of it being Women's Fiction. It was a convenient way to avoid being known as a “romance author”. The stereotype is of bodice rippers, wooden characters and covers you want to hide. But what am I thinking? Heck, I’d be thrilled to be known as an [anything] author!

The query I wrote as a result  of this decision was well... bland. I see that now. So it was back to the drawing board, and back to my initial inspiration. It’s really about the romance, even though the MC has to learn a lot about other things along the way. So I’ve re-written my query, which has taken weeks, not days*, with the romance at the core. I'd be thrilled to own the title "Contemporary Romance Author". Let’s see how this baby flies.

* Time’s been scarce lately as I’ve been away visiting family and then sick as a dog this week


One of my wise critique partners has pointed out that by definition a 'romance' has the POV of both the hero and the heroine. I did not know this, although I can see it in effect with many (though not all) of the contemporaries I've read. My hero isn't a POV character. So maybe it's back to Women's Fiction after all! Regardless, for now I'm excited to see what happens with query 2.0.


  1. Sounds good! It's sometimes tough to pin down a genre. Best wishes with the new query!

  2. You must be close to querying Loree - all the best to you too!