For this week’s You Tell Me there is a poll included! Yes, we’re getting fancy. It also means that all of you reading the blog via e-mail or through an RSS reader may need to click through to cast your vote and see the results.
I thought it might be fun to get a snapshot of what people are working on out there. So, for all you writers out there: what’s your genre?
I know genre distinctions are blurry, so just pick one in case there’s overlap. And remember, when in doubt: go with the section of the bookstore your book would be stocked in. I added “paranormal” to the categories even though it’s not typically a bookstore section simply because there seems to be so many people writing about vampires, werewolves, etc.
And, of course, feel free to discuss the results (or your WIP) in the comment section.
Steph Damore says
Laura – I should've added Gibbs and Dinozzo. NCIS could be even more entertaining if they wore superhero outfits…
Mine is a murder mystery in a future setting. I'm calling it a Science Fiction Murder Mystery.
Werewolves, vampires and witches certainly isn't my understanding of paranormal. Those are Fantasy, I thought.
Amber – I don't believe in the competition thing. I think there's room enough for any really good novel. Persistence is the key – that's what I believe anyway.
I do wonder if Nathan tends to draw writers who write in the genres he represents. Which may be why literary fiction, mysteries and thrillers, YA are heavily represented here.
I don't know, but it was a thought. Are non-fiction and early reader/picture books really as poorly represented as it appears here? Maybe non-fiction writers in particular don't go to the blogs as much – that may be another thought. I don't know…?
This is so funny b/c our current article, published concurrently with your poll, is about genre — Writer's Glossary, Part II:
Genres, Subgenres and Supergenres — in case there's confusion. Wish I'd caught up on my feed reader sooner 😉
@ Anon 7:13 –
If werewolves, vampires and witches aren't paranormal, then what is?
(And I think there's a heck of a lot of people who would disagree with you about them not being, btw.)
Cat Moleski says
I was kind of surprised that none of the categories was over 10% of the mix. I'm writing a YA with lesbian characters.
Brandi Guthrie says
My WIP is what I would term a "romantic fantasy", as in, it has elements of romance, but it's mainly a fantasy. Dragons. Magic. War. Only a little bit of kissing. 🙂
Stephen D. Covey says
Nathan – do this again but with subgenres!
My WIP is techno-thriller (a genre which blends with near-future hard-science fiction).
I hate to be put in the same category as "mystery".
I agree with RW and appreciate her/his comments concerning "literary" vs "genre" fiction. Those terms really frustrate me!
I'd prefer "contemporary fiction" in place of "literary."
Bane of Anubis says
Holy Snarf – 1600+ responses and counting — a large enough pool for an official sampling.
G.Y. Haney says
Proudly in the 8% writing YA Fantasy.
@Sean Craven I would like to read that book!
Um, what if it's set in a fantasy world, but it's largely about a werewolf?? And "paranormal" just sounds completely not my thing, but I love fantasy. If it's in a fantasy world with fairies and unicorns and things in a fictional country, but is about a werewolf, it still counts as fantasy, right??
Kourtnie McKenzie says
I'm really surprised young adult historical fiction is 0%!
That said, I'm writing young adult fantasy. 🙂
Deb Lehman says
Edgy YA novel loosely ripped from the headlines.
Anna Claire says
Yeesh. I just voted (YA historical) and we're still at zero percent there. This is either good (on the forefront of the next big thing!) or bad (nobody writes this b/c nobody reads it).
Anna Claire says
After reading comments, I think it looks like a lot of people feel their books don't fit in a certain genre. That may be true, but aren't agents and editors always telling us to make sure we can say where the book would be shelved at a bookstore, which means narrowing our cross-genre MS to one basic thing? Otherwise it's hard for them to visualize how they'd sell the book; and subsequently might pass on a genre-crossing novel. What about another post on this subject, Nathan?
My WIP is a crime thriller that dabbles in fringe science! Not sure what you would call it…maybe a Crime Friller!
Laura Essendine says
Here was I thinking I was the next big thing and I don't even make it onto the genre list.
I write "boomer lit", women's fiction for the post-Bridget Jones generation because there's a lot of fun to be had after 40 and very few novels out there providing it. I decided that, if I wanted to read such a book, I'd better write it myself.
Lots of interesting responses here – good luck going through them all!
Laura Essendine @bookslimited
The Accidental Guru Blog
Louise Uccio says
Hmmm, I couldn't figure out where to put a dark humor, vulgar self help, memoir. Filled with blatent political corruption.
I chose "other!"
Mine is a contemporary fantasy with romantic and literary elements, but pretty much a straight fantasy.
Hope this works. I'm semi-computer illiterate, but I'm tryig.
My WIP is a YA mystery, writen i the style of Mary Higgins Clark (don't I hope). I think I've written it at least twenty times and still don't know if I'm finished.
Literary fiction, at least that is where my aspirations are. It's what I read, what I think about, what I try to know. When people talk about a relaxing read, a beach read if you will, I understand the concept, but it seems that when I try to explain that The Sun Also Rises is my beach read, it just sounds as RW said, like an implied value judgment. I have to agree with some of the others that it seems to carry a certain connotation that were I Salman Rushdie, or Fitzgerald, I would happily embrace, but being me, seems a bit overreaching. I understand there is a wide spectrum, but aside from here, among a group of writers, I would be reticent to admit what I'm striving for.
(And since I hadn't time to post, may I add that I love MAD MEN. Absolutely love it. And unlike the books I read, I have no problem just watching it for what it is, and letting it be. Love it.)
Thanks for the post. I was wondering this as well. It seems there are far more sci fi and paranormal writers from the comments, than the poll shows.
What is chic-lit, women's fiction?
My first "chic-lit" book has been read by a lot of men, presumably because it is set in typical male environment (top management consulting). But I haven't seen the stats, I would guess most are still women. And will be even more once it gets out in paperback.
Samantha Clark says
What's the genre when there are fantasy elements in a real-world setting, like the Percy Jackson series? That's what my novel is.
My second is science-fiction, I guess, because there's space travel, but it's not really scientific. More adventure, I'd say.
Better late than never I guess!?
My WIP is a Paranormal Romance set in Montreal,Canada.
Empress Awesome says
No chick lit section for young adult? Lame! Not even romance. I was forced to say general/other.
Nathan Bransford says
I hope you can survive the hardship.
What? No category for 'faux literary'? AKA bookclub or upscale commerical?
Anyway, that's what I'm trying to write. Peace, Linda
Genella deGrey says
I totally missed this!
Well, that's what I get for actually WORKING on the thing!
Need to stick my head out of the writer's cave more often!
G., who is held up in 1891 at the moment writing historical romance.
Wow, over 2,000 votes! Congrats on the idea Nathan, this really gives an idea of what's being produced out there.
Tom Johnson says
I have two works in progress.
1. I'm writing a literary novel.
2. I just received interest from a few agencies in a memoir about my experiences owning and operating an artisan food business that rose to the top and then crashed and burned.
Interesting experience working on the two, since the novel is somber and serious, while the memoir is light and (hopefully) witty. It's making me a bit schizophrenic.
Zen of Writing says
Post-apocalyptic sci fi, hoping for mainstream crossover.
Zen of Writing says
Post-apocalyptic sci fi, hoping for mainstream crossover.
K.T. Koulos says
wow…I'm only one of 5% writing a paranormal young adult book. 😀
Barbara Fillip says
I voted "other". I'm writing a business novel. It's fiction, it's a novel, but the primary objective is to teach something. In my case, the didactic theme is "knowledge management." How big is the potential market for that? 🙂
Am I cynical to think that the popularity of young adult fiction these days is mostly due to adults reading books meant for younger audiences and is that a sign of declining literacy? Has anyone else noticed a related dumbing down of supposed "literary fiction" coinciding with the rise of YA sales?
I'll be honest that I've been tinkering with a YA novel entirely because it's the field with the widest range of readers/consumers.
The people reading Twilight and Harry Potter on the subway, for instance, would only look like young adults if Keith Richards was sitting next to them.
Also, I still predict that post-apocalypse novels are gonna wipe vampires off the map when The Road hits theaters. If you really want to cash in on hot trends you'd be halfway through your post-apoc novel right now.
No humour/satire/comedy? Oh dear, I'm stuffed.
Author Free To Air says
Perry Campanella I represent a Publishing Corporation in Florida they accept all genre for all Family readers!
Worldwide Publishing Inc. AAP Book
Publishing. Looking for researchers
to assist authors with speaking engagements and Agenting. Grab – A – Book 🙂 Everyone has a story to tell: we tell everyone! Write on.
Wonder how I missed this last week…
Interesting results. I would have figured far more YA, but that's probably more to do with it seeming that everyone I know is writing a YA book of some kind (I've got 3 YA writers in my crit group, out of 7 of us). I checked off the fantasy ticky box, though my book is more historical fantasy. Think Mists of Avalon meets The Iliad, but with Aztec gods mucking about. And it's a doorstop, so make that epic historical fantasy. 🙂
I clicked "other" because there wasn't a category for comedy romance. Was going to tick just romance, but I'm picky what I tick.
My other book, EDEN, which out now can't be ticked either! What no sci-fi romance?!
Laurie Boris says
I work in several genres…literary fiction, commercial fiction (didn't see that one anywhere…) and women's fiction. How are blended genres being received lately (for example, dark literary chick lit, etc.)?
I'm working simultaniously on about… well, two books at the time being, both fantasy. But actually, I have a whole bunch more started, but I haven't gotten around to finishing them… again, all fantasy. YA fantasy, really… or perhaps bordering on YA and Childrens… not really sure there. The books (and book ideas) range everywhere from quest fantasy to urban fantasy… and maybe I toy a little in science fiction, but really… I just struggle with that. I enjoy SF, but I just have trouble writing it. Fantasy if my cup of tea. Trying to finish up the final revision of one so that I can at last start querying agents… its taking me forever!
Susan Kaye Quinn says
I've been calling my WiP YA Paranormal, but I voted it YA Science Fiction, because my Paranormal is powers, not creatures, with a science basis. Now, I'm not really sure how to query it.
I'm assuming if I call it YA Paranormal, and someone actually reads the query, they're figure out it's sans creatures. But if an agent is asking for paranormal YA, do they only mean creatures??
//now I'm confused
My WIP, SPARED PARTS, is commercial/mainstream fiction. Is that considered a genre? I'm not certain about the entire genre designation.