Books and Glasses

Fiction is NOT a Genre…

Recently, I was skimming through a fellow editor’s website (who shall remain nameless) and encountered a page where people were listing the titles of their manuscripts and their respective genres. OMG, the number of people that listed their genre as FICTION…

People, FICTION is NOT a genre. It tells us nothing about your story, except for the fact that it’s made up. And it’s not good enough to tell us the you write Young Adult or Middle-Grade either. All this tells us is who your target audience is.  Let’s face it, a science fiction story is very different to a western. (However, you could have a Western SciFi — Firefly is the perfect example of this sub-genre.) A Young Adult SciFi and a Middle-Grade SciFi, on the other hand, will contain similar elements, all related to the SciFi genre.Read More

Young Adult: A Category or a Genre?

Whenever someone tells me that they write young adult, my first response is always, “That’s nice. So what genre do you write?” More often than not, I get a blank stare in response. The look in their eyes says it all.

“I just told you. I write young adult.”

At this point, I normally chuckle. “So you write fantasy.” I tend to make this conclusion because most of those I meet who have made this young adult classification mistake do write fantasy of some flavour or another.

However, sometimes I’ll get that affronted look. “No. I write young adult.” To this, I bow my head in shame.

The confusion between genre and category is something that plagues every new writer. We’re told that we have to categorise this piece of work that we have spent months, if not years, working on, but we don’t want to fit into a box — we want to be in a circle. So… the question is, what does young adult really mean?Read More