Identifying the category of literature your book most closely aligns itself with means better chances of marketing success. I’ve seen too many authors confidently state they’ve written a great story that will appeal to many readers. Reality dictates consumers are indeed a fickle breed, so it is obviously in the author’s best interest to write with a target audience in mind.
As a first-time novelist, I am at once repelled and fascinated by the category under which my work in progress, Lost Girl Road, may or may not fall. On the one hand, my story contains paranormal elements. Yet, I hesitate to categorize it as such. The plot maintains a sense of mystery, but it doesn’t necessarily read like a whodunit story. Various twists and turns align it with the thriller and horror genres as well.
The Audience by Peter Griffin
Then one day, eureka! While reading Denise Baer’s Net Switch, it dawned on me that I am attempting to write psychological suspense. Looking back on the literary short stories I penned in college, my best ones experimented with mentally unstable characters struggling to come to terms with events that have left them with a fractured notion of reality.
Which begs the question, do I know my competition? Not so much. I’m dutifully adding titles by psychological suspense and thriller authors to my TBR list. Yet, somewhere in the back of my mind, I still feel angst over a desire to create a story capable of being hailed as contemporary fiction or literary fiction. My goal is to attract as many readers as possible and I will continue doing my genre homework.
Track Running Lanes by Peter Griffin
I suppose at the end of the day and as I near the end of this post, it’s suffice to say my analytical nature often gets the best of me. My desire to write is often eclipsed by that nagging voice that tells me I can’t compete, that my words will never be enough. I’m tired of listening to that voice. I can either continue to feel overwhelmed or just get on with it. I choose the latter.
How does the notion of genre figure into the choices you make as a reader and writer? Does genre really matter?
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