Thursday, April 24, 2008

What Genre Would That Be Again?

In updating my 'About Me' page I realized I should put something about the sorts of stories I write. It's not that's it's hard to define so much as explain in a concise way that people understand on first hearing. It's not just that everything is so different (and that my first EBook is non-fiction!)

For example: My novel-in-progress 'Deadwood'.

During NaNoWriMo last year I hard a lot of trouble trying to find what genre to classify my story and ended up in the 'Other' category because it fit there best - which doesn't tell you anything of course! Apparently a few people were having similar issues with theirs and we got to chatting on the forums. It was suggested that perhaps I was leaning toward the Magic Realism category (not that there was a box to check for that) and it made a vague sort of sense.

My story is set in the present-day world in a fictional-but-could-be-real town and most everything that happens 'could' happen - except for the premise in which a dead body of a girl is brought back to life... I couldn't classify it as 'mystery' because it isn't all about the clues and the detectives. I couldn't classify it as romance, despite having a central relationship and I couldn't define it as 'literary fiction' because it's not primarily a character study. Adventure? Not really a journey-across-terrain kind of book or a combat/discovery sort of book either. I couldn't classify it as suspense, though it definitely has some of that, or thriller, or horror, though it's definitely not for the faint of heart. Fiction? Yes, but not the sort you might pull off the 'fiction' shelves at B&N. Yet I couldn't classify it as fantasy either because there just isn't much focus on on the fantastic or paranormal. Any 'happenings' may or may not be real. That part is left up to the reader (to some extent anyway). That said, there's a whole lot going on with an element of weird - all to the tune of a ticking clock...

Magic-realism almost fits. It might be happy next to 'Like Water For Chocolate, but only if it had a Dean Koontz novel on the other side. I don't think it would sit comfortably next to 'Love In the Time Of Cholera' at all!

So I've decided 'Deadwood' is 'fantastic-suspense' as it's more likely to end up on a fantasy shelf than any other.

But really, who cares right now? I should just write the story as it wants to be told. And that's all. Category-shmategory. Perhaps there'll be a new one by then anyway.

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