Friday, January 20, 2012

Genre Revisited~ Still Searching

This is the second time this week I've mentioned genres, so I guess it's a themed week. I looked up the definition of Chick-Lit and I'm wondering if my novels fall into that particular category.

The number one definition for Chick-Lit is it written by women for women. Well, now this created a puzzle for me because my novels can be enjoyed by both sexes. They are gutsy enough to be enjoyed by men, not overly romantic in nature, but there are some pretty difficult situation resulting in an emotional roller coaster for my characters.

BUT according to novelicious.com,  

"Chick lit is intelligent, funny, emotionally truthful, hearty, romantic fiction that accurately reflects the lives of women today." 

Okay, so I've got funny bits of humor, real world situations of women. It's intelligent and very emotional, but not overly romantic. (Buzzer sounds- wrong answer)

Dictionary.com:

a)A genre of fiction concentrating on young working women and their emotional lives.
b) Any literature that is intended to appeal more to women than men, with a focus on strong or quirky females.



Now there is some food for thought. I've heard it described as a strong female central role, emotional roller coaster women can relate to, written by a female...well that fits my novels. They all have a weak-turned strong female lead and albeit flawed. My characters are all in against the odds and run the gambit of emotions the female reader can relate to (even most men can relate). And finally, I am a female author. So in some ways this genre category fits also.

I mean Hemmingway and Nicholas Sparks? Neither are female and yet they write what is classified as Chick-Lit by Dictionary.com definition. 

I can remember a time when there were just a few classifications for novels... there was nonfiction and fiction. In the fiction range you had science fiction, literary fiction, westerns, mysteries, and suspense. Of course children's books had no set categories except fiction and nonfiction. Isn't it amazing how much simpler things were way back when? 

Hindsight is like that.  I recently bought a new hair brush. I can remember when there were only a couple on the market. Now, there's half rounds, rounds, vented, unvented, natural bristle, man made bristles, the ones with the little balls on each bristle and without...an entire pegboard of just hair brushes to pick from.I just wanted a hairbrush, just like in writing be sort of genre specific. All these new sub-genres can drive a writer into insanity.

So what genre are you books written in? How many tags and sub-genres can you place your books?

Keep writing and loving the Lord. 

1 comment:

Zan Marie said...

Ha! Again, Jo, you've touched on the third rail of publishing. To land a agent, you have to have a specific genre to match up to what they represent. Marketing departments want to be able to pigeon hole the genre for their job. So why are genre smash ups making such big splashes in the market? Diana Gabaldon's books being a great example.

My contemporary fits the broad definition of women's fiction which concern more serious subjects than chick-lit which seems to be humorous. I think your books might be more in the women's fiction bunch. Have you looked that definition up? It's broad enough to drive the fleet into.

My SF WIP is soft SF--no big physics ideas--and could be called a coming-of-age, fish-out-of-water, SF romance. Try selling that one. ; )

So you can see, I'm no help on definitions.