Now that NaNoWriMo is in full effect, I thought I’d return to a post from approximately a year ago to see which way the genre winds are blowing in late 2010. Will the breakdown be the same as last year? Is there a genre or two that are growing in popularity?
Also, 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. As before, I added “paranormal” to the categories even though it’s not typically a bookstore section simply because there are so many people writing about vampires, werewolves, etc.
My answers is still the same as last year: middle grade science fiction.
Poetry of Flesh says
Currently working on a creative non-fiction novel focusing on three generations of family, the emotional and psychological traditions that are passed on, as well as the inability to truly defeat the parent/child role, and how the one-two punch of that combination can cause a person to break. Not sure exactly where to classify that, as it isn't a memoir (while it focuses on members of my family, it's not about me), but it's not literary fiction.
Ariel Swan says
Women's fiction with a supernatural thread – I think. That is what I have been querying it as anyway. Think Alice Hoffman with more ghost and less fairytale.I'd love to run into other writers of this genre in the bloggersphere – but they seem to be few and far between.
Linda Poitevin says
Urban Fantasy. More specifically, a supernatural suspense/police procedural with strong romantic elements (but not a HEA)…but it will be shelved in the Fantasy section, 'cause I'm pretty sure book stores don't have that particular category. 🙂
Sierra McConnell says
Is "help me my characters are out of control and they are taking over" a genre?
No, that wasn't a cry for help! I swear! I'm not typing anything that isn't the MS or work!
Honestly. They are taking over. What happened to my summary?
Joe G says
What about magical realism?
mt si dad says
YA – General. NaNoWriMo to start it off. Coming of age in the 50s. Jackie Robinson, Lyndon Johnson, Joe McCarthy, and others appear.
Andrea Strong says
Mine's Romance. More to the point Christian Romance. (There's quite a difference between the two).
I guess the question isn't limited to NaNo writers. I had to think about if there would be Early Reader or Picture Books with 50k words. That was hard to imagine.
I selected literary fiction, but my WIP is more accurately called experimental crime noir literary fiction. Ha. Its a genre I've never tried before–I usually read and write fantasy. So far its been fun and disturbing to write.
Becky Levine says
I'm so happy to SEE YA Historical Fiction as a category in your list. 🙂
Leah Petersen says
Among the many things to worry about while trying to get published, at least this one hasn't been difficult for me. Mine's straight-up adult sci-fi. Oh, it has its interesting complicating elements (gay main character) but it's about adults in the future. Clean-cut categorization.
Leah Petersen says
And my one in the wings is pure epic fantasy. The main character is 16, but that doesn't usually matter in epic fantasy, in my experience.
I recently learned that what I'm writing is called New Adult literature. My characters are early twenties- too old for YA, too young to be real adults. I'm excited to (try to) add something to relatively uncharted territory. But also scared it will may spur rampant rejections!
Mine is an urban fantasy (I voted paranormal, though there are no witches, vampires or werewolves). It has very strong suspense/thriller elements as well.
Word Ver is bedho–which sort of relates to my story in a disturbing way.
Didn't see a category for lgbt fiction, so I clicked other. And I'm kind of curious about what the rest of the "other" people are writing.
Late, but thank you Nathan. I haven't been able to get an answer to that before.
MG-Horror is I'll be writing next, but there wasn't a place for that so I put "other". It isn't "paranormal", there are no vamps, witches, or anything supernatural. Just a good old fashioned creepy monster (a biological oddity). I'm sorry that there weren't places for YA-Horror and MG-Horror, though you included Sci-Fi for each. I love Sci-Fi, too, and read a lot of it, but I love Horror more (and it sells better anyway). Please include "Horror" in your kids choices next time so the horror-writers don't feel like poor cousins.
Mystery Robin says
I called it sci fi – it's really steampunk, but with no magic elements – just alt history, so I didn't say fantasy. I think you could make an argument either way, though. 😉
Dick Hannah says
Last year it was Mystery, this year it's true thriller. Anyway we can split that category up next year so the subtleties of my vote can count? Also, I understand that there are already a ton of categories on your list. . . why do these two so easily get lumped together? Couldn't a case easily be made that the two are distinct, and if you don't know for sure which yours is, you should probably do a bit more editing? Just thoughts.
Ishta Mercurio says
I put YA paranormal, but I am simultaneously working on several picture books, both rhyming and otherwise.
Kristi Helvig says
I finished a YA sci-fi two days ago and it's going out to my critique group this weekend. I'm super excited about it, even though there are no space monkeys involved.
I don't know what I want to write. I have YA, erotica, romance, and mystery all in the works right now. But the one I'm focusing on now, because I can't really focus on anything until I get this out of my system, is sort of noirish-mystery-romance.
I fear I won't be able to sell it (assuming it's even worth reading), but it's space-opera Science fiction loosely informed by the history of Ireland, especially the 1916 Uprising and the Irish Civil War, as well as by Irish Literary Fiction. I know; weird, right?
It's got aliens who conquered humanity and turned them into a second-class worker caste, a lost homeworld, an epic journey, secrets and dualities a-plenty, all wrapped up in the trappings of spaceships and plasma weapons.
Tara Maya says
My NaNoMo this year is hard sf. Totally untrendy. I don't care–I've wanted to write this story forever and never had time. Not that I have time now either.
Middle Grade Magical Realism.
Does that count as Fantasy?
It has fantastical elements, but is rooted in the real world.
I'm doing a historical mystery, neither of which I have ever attempted before. It's interesting so far. My subconscious seems to have taken over the plot.
Donea Lee says
I completely suck at the genre thing…as someone else said, my project (series) is based in today's world, but has fantastical elements in it – curses, a time-travel element. There's mention of a witch, but I wouldn't call it "YA paranormal" and "fantasy" makes me think of castles and dragons and wizards, so… *eek* Help?
YA. I called it fantasy, but it could be paranormal, I suppose…I don't really know the difference. Maybe a future topic for you to go over?
It's a ghost story, which I've since realized a lot of people are writing. Pretty cool.
Enid Wilson says
I think what writers like to write can be very different from what readers like to read.
My Darcy Mutates
Dan Holloway says
Rick Daley says
Mine is middle-grade fantasy.
A research team drilling ice cores at the North Pole finds something amazing buried deep in the ice: a book that tells the origins of Santa Claus.
This story-within-a-story explains everything from the origins of Santa’s white hair and red suit to his ability to fit all those presents in one sack.
It has a sense of adventure to it, it's kind of like Santa Begins.
WORD VERIFICATION: arsterna. Pig Latin for Narster.
My NaNo is literary fiction, but really, I'd term it "New Adult" if that category really took off. My other WIP, once NaNo is over, will be paranormal YA. I'm all over the place with what I like to write, but I'm trying to stick with one audience – the YA/new adult sort of thing.
I clicked Historical Fiction, but really it could be Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, too. And I'm not doing NaNo. I'm doing it on my own. If this book is done by next November, maybe I will do Nano then. =]
Tracy Sharp says
Suspense/thriller and also working on a horror novel.
I voted other. Although when seeking publication I'll find a category to fit into. I would describe my style as scientific supernatural thrillers. I base the stories on all the information I have gleaned from governments religions and long time dedicated scientific amateurs and professional sources added to forty-five years of extended personal exploration. Physics changed forever in 2002 and most science fiction writers have not adjusted – caught up. Information theory has come to be the dominant lenses after string and brane-m theory were found to be too difficult to utilize. The Americans, Chinese, and Russians have each spent multiple billions in researching Quantum Consciousness as an extension of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle and the eternal dilemma between a universe composed of waves and oppositely a universe composed of point like particles. The results of the research scared everyone deeply but the Americans the most. I learned what they know from key(-man)former contract workers and career military. I understand their fear and cautious denials. It makes for great speculative fiction though if you have the true forms and formulas.
It took four hundred years from the Da Vanci's plane schematics to the Wright Brothers plane. I don't have four hundred years to spare. Long range transportation-communication services are already being installed for China and Russia. America is becoming a third world country very very very very rapidly. The disease of conceit taking its toll rapidly.
My underlying purpose is to expose the ideas to a broader audience while becoming a very effective writer in terms of plot, pacing and magnetic characters of both dark and noble motivations
Lady G Pendragon says
I currently believe that I'm writing YA dystopian, but my last WIP was more of YA magical realism…I dabble in all the realms of YA and focus on what interests me most at the time.
Currently I am writing mystery, sci-fi adventure stories.
Fawn Neun says
No NaNo for me this year–busy doing edits for my publisher.
Science Fiction. 🙂
Katrina L. Lantz says
Mine's YA urban fantasy (you could stretch and call it paranormal romance, but it isn't one of those regular paranormal creatures, so I ticked the YA fantasy box).
Good idea, getting a sense of the Nano novels this year. I'm sure you'll be seeing too many of them in your inbox next month. *cringes for you*
I promise to edit my Nano novel before querying. I promise to edit it a LOT.
My NaNo is YA thriller. I haven't started typing it yet, but the MS is complete in my head — except for a few twists before the end.
Nathan – congrats to the Giants , their pitching was awesome.
Mine is an off-the-wall kind of sci-fi noir adventure. Nothing like crossing genre'!
Chris Phillips says
Mine is a political steampunk Early Reader called, HARVEY KENNELLIS RIDES A TRAIN THROUGH THE SKY.
I said mine is women's fiction. Last year I said literary fiction, but I'm not feeling so lofty. 🙂
In any case, I didn't finish last year and am starting over, so it's sort of the same book. Same beginning characters at least. Maybe someday I'll take writing seriously? In the meantime, I'm just having fun!
PJ Lincoln says
Wow. The poll results seem to indicate that the writing trends haven't changed much over the past few years.
Looks like you're still seeing lots of vampire and YA queries, Nathan.
Kristin Laughtin says
I put fantasy even though mine has some paranormal elements (but not vampires, werewolves, ghosts, or angels). I think most people think "romance" when they hear "paranormal", and that's not what I'm writing, so I just went with fantasy. Most of my other stuff is SF, or has strong elements of both SF and fantasy/though. 😀
Levi Montgomery says
Not a NaNoWriMo, 'cause I write on my own schedule, but it's a (deep breath) post-apocalyptic dystopian science-fiction future history teen romance with overtones of steampunkery. An alien invasion turned off the electricity 72 years ago, and now Amarylla and Marlowe are trying to turn it back on. So far, the only sparks are their own.
All Too Human says
trying my hand at humor and experimenting with making the whole thing public (as a motivational tool). i wonder how sick of myself i will be after 50,000 words of me trying to be funny.
my nano book is ya contemporary fiction. i'm hoping to enter it in the delacorte writing contest.
my other wip is ya fantasy.
I have some angst and fretting going on here which is reflected in my blog post today, but after some additional fretting and thinking and talking with my husband, I feel like I know where I am taking my work now. I put it in the category of "women's fiction," but I feel as though it will be more down and dirty and thought provoking than your average chick lit (But isn't that what everyone thinks about their own, perhaps? Or, I have a big fat head). Whatever. On with the writing.