Revision 04.1.1: Genres: Which Are Yours?

Standard

Even writing 50-word definitions, this was too large a page. Instead, go down the alphabetized list of genres and subgenres (some of which are different names for the same thing). Click on ones you think may apply, and they’ll take you to the 400-word definition of a major genre (*) or the page that includes them as subgenres.

But first, the divisions of fiction that are easy to define by their audience’s age. Within that limitation, they may be any genre, like mysteries for 9-year-olds or quest fantasy for 14-year-olds.

Juvenile Fiction — any genre, aimed at children 12 and under. Formats vary by age.

Young Adult — any genre, aimed at readers 12-18, though most by 16 or 17 are reading adult fiction, even if they have to sneak it — and plenty of adults are sneaking these. Also called teen fiction.

They are usually lumped together as “juvenile fiction.” But this is not a genre: it is an audience reading level of maturity.

Now we also have one, not considered juvvy, called New Adult Fiction. If you ask me, it’s closer to YA than the other is. NA (as the shorthand goes) is aimed at those in their late teens or early twenties. It’s mostly used for mainstream fiction about this age bracket, dealing with their particular concerns.

All this age-sorting generally means that what you write has to be very up-to-date. You have to be aware of the language, the hot topics, what’s In or Out. This also means that everything you write will start feeling dated in five years, ten at a maximum. I’ve seen this when authors dress their protagonist in the fashion all must have, to indicate their character really is cool despite being an outsider, only now that indicates their character is a dweeb several years behind the times. Think of how passé iPhones made Blackberries. What does this do to a book whose techie character has a laptop instead of a tablet? Well, this means that there’s always room in publisher’s lists for new YA and NA books as others age out.

The Real Genres & Sub-genres

Some of these genres are based on settings, and some are story types. We’ll go into that on their pages. The main point is — this is how you label your stuff to help it sell. It’s also how you make decisions on which way to take a revision.

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  1. Pingback: Current Status | hollyiblogs

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