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Is not having a specific genre a bad thing?

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  • #37065
    K.M. Small
    @morreafirebird

    Hey Emberians,

    For a while now I’ve noticed that almost all of the stories I write aren’t distinctly in one genre; for example, whenever I write a fantasy, I give it a twist of sci-fi and a bit of dystopian, or when I write a dystopian (or futuristic fiction, as I think they’re calling it now), there are a lot of fantasy elements as well.

    Is that a bad thing? Will it make it harder for me to market my books to a target audience if they can’t be defined by one genre (say, fantasy or sci-fi)?

    For a bit more information, I plan on eventually self-publishing my books, so pitching to a publisher or agent isn’t my concern, but marketing to readers is.


    @josiah
    @daeus-lamb @gabbriellepollack @snapper @kate @anyone-who-has-thoughts-on-this

    ~ Khylie
    "Beauty will save the world." - Dostoevsky

    #37067
    R.M. Archer
    @r-m-archer

    It will be harder to market to readers, I think. I’d suggest figuring out what the primary genre of each story is and categorize it that way and then indicate in the blurb or something that it has sci-fi/dystopian/fantasy elements.

    Most of my stories are cut-and-dry fantasy, but I have one series that’s technically dystopian but is characterized by futuristic tech and other scientific advancements, so I consider it mainly sci-fi and keep in mind that it’s dystopian. In my case the dystopian is semi-subtle (it’s thousands of years after a catastrophe that wrecked the earth so it’s basically a new world) so it’s not super important to tell readers that it’s dystopian, I just hint at it in the books themselves and let readers figure it out.

    So figure out what the primary characteristic is and which genre that fits into and start with that. Hopefully that helps. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Fantasy/dystopian/sci-fi author. Mythology nerd. ENFP. Singer.

    #37068
    Brink
    @nuetrobolt

    @morreafirebird, I’ve never published, so I don’t know, but I think that would be okay. I’ve read books like that, and some I like a lot.

    Your story is yours and no one else's. Each sunset is different, depending where you stand. -A. Peterson

    #37069
    Brink
    @nuetrobolt

    @r-m-archer, morreafirebird, what is dystopian, exactly?

    Your story is yours and no one else's. Each sunset is different, depending where you stand. -A. Peterson

    #37071
    Brink
    @nuetrobolt

    Above, I meant to tag @morreafirebird.

    Your story is yours and no one else's. Each sunset is different, depending where you stand. -A. Peterson

    #37072
    R.M. Archer
    @r-m-archer

    @nuetrobolt It’s a story in which the society has a negative government or something else makes it generally unpleasant. Like Divergent or The Hunger Games or Swipe or The Maze Runner. (It could be argued that The Maze Runner is post-apocalyptic rather than dystopian, but that’s not relevant.)

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 2 months ago by R.M. Archer.

    Fantasy/dystopian/sci-fi author. Mythology nerd. ENFP. Singer.

    #37074
    Brink
    @nuetrobolt

    @r-m-archer, its an unpleasant book? I havn’t read any of those above. Perhaps A Series of Unfortunate Events would be dystopian, then? Or just the society is unpleasant?

    Your story is yours and no one else's. Each sunset is different, depending where you stand. -A. Peterson

    #37076
    Brink
    @nuetrobolt

    Why is this conversation not in recent activity?

    Your story is yours and no one else's. Each sunset is different, depending where you stand. -A. Peterson

    #37081
    R.M. Archer
    @r-m-archer

    @nuetrobolt The society is unpleasant, generally, though in a lot of dystopians it’s also a post-apocalyptic Earth so the world itself may be unpleasant. But it’s the setting that’s unpleasant, not necessarily the story itself.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 2 months ago by R.M. Archer.

    Fantasy/dystopian/sci-fi author. Mythology nerd. ENFP. Singer.

    #37127
    Josiah DeGraaf
    @josiah

    @morreafirebird I’m a big fan of genre-mixing and think it’s the future of publishing in some ways. Mixing genres adds originality and uniqueness to the stories, so I wouldn’t stop mixing genres. I would make sure, though, from the marketing perspective that there is aย primaryย genre, even if there’s a secondary genre mixed in there. Readers will be shopping based on the primary genre, so you want to make sure you understand the base of your story even as you throw different elements into it.

    Lit fanatic. Eclectic reader. Theology nerd. Writing fantasy at https://josiahdegraaf.com

    #37346
    K.M. Small
    @morreafirebird

    @r-m-archer thanks for that advice! Looking at it closer now, I’d say my current WIP is mainly dystopian with a twist of sci-fi and fantasy. It should definitely be easier to market if I look at it that way ๐Ÿ™‚


    @nuetrobolt
    I’m glad there’s someone out there who likes stories like that ๐Ÿ™‚


    @josiah
    that’s great to hear ๐Ÿ˜€ I think I gravitate toward writing stories like that because it seems hard to write an original, pure fantasy these days without mixing in something that is considered sci-fi or dystopian. But I’ll definitely keep the primary genre advice in mind.

    ~ Khylie
    "Beauty will save the world." - Dostoevsky

    #37347
    R.M. Archer
    @r-m-archer

    @morreafirebird Happy to help. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Fantasy/dystopian/sci-fi author. Mythology nerd. ENFP. Singer.

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