Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Writing Wednesdays: Name That Genre!

I'm hoping some of my writing friends will be able to help me out today. I can't figure out what genre to call my novel, and it's driving me slightly insane.

Right now, I'm calling it upper YA fantasy, since the MC is 18 and it doesn't quite fall under New Adult (she hasn't gone off to college yet, and this whole NA subgenre thing is still a little shaky, right?). An agent called it urban fantasy despite the fact that I labeled it plain ol' fantasy. Why? I suppose because it starts out in the "real world," which is where urban fantasies take place, in - duh - an urban setting.

But, the MC is only in the real world for the first chapter. Then she goes to a parallel world (or "secondworld," which is apparently a thing I'd never heard of until recently). It's definitely not high fantasy (fantasy wherein the world of the novel is THE world from what I can tell), and I'm not sure if it's contemporary fantasy (a genre whose definition I find very difficult to pin down, but seems to be fantasy set in the modern world; mine isn't). Is it dark fantasy? I mean, it's pretty dark, but it's definitely not horror. As you can see, it's a pickle.

Honestly, I didn't think it mattered that much (an agent should be able to figure out what it is from the query letter, right?). But following all the Pitch Madness tweets, many of which call out mislabeled pitches, has made me paranoid. Does it matter? Is the sub-genre really that important?

I honestly have no idea anymore.

1 comment:

ExpatEliz said...

Yeah, I would've said upper YA fantasy too since it's in our world so little. Does anything that has real world elements automatically qualify as urban fantasy? Maybe you need to hear some other pro opinions? BTW, I think NA is a HUGE deal now, but definitely don't think yours falls in that genre.
Maybe it's only a problem with these super short pitch contests. In a regular query where you have a little bit longer to describe the story, there wouldn't be any confusion...