Happy Insecure Writers Support Group day!
Once a month, writers from across the land set forth to shout their fears, concerns, insecurities, and joys into the Universe- come join us!
Today I'm talking about crossing lines. More importantly, crossing the great genre divide.
Knowing what genre you write in is fairly basic and something a writer really needs to understand. Many an agent or editor has bemoaned the "mystery/romance/SF/historical/adventure" manuscripts they end up getting. And sometimes it is difficult to narrow it down. If you have a classical romance story, with classical romance characters and plotting- you're pretty safe in knowing you have a Romance.
But there are books that subtly combine genres. Sort of like a Reece's Cup, they take elements of two genres (don't really know if more than two would work- never seen one, but you never know!) and combine them into something stronger.
Now, the traditional publishing world sometimes is ok with this as long as it's clear that one element is dominant (the chocolate let's say) and they know which side of the bookstore to go in. They will label that book in that genre and package it accordingly.
But what of those folks from the other genre (the peanut butters)who might really want a nice mixed genre book.
Here's where going Indie has an advantage- Indies can promote in both. Example- SF/Romance. An author may be in the SF section (Linnea Sinclair is a great example) BUT not only would SF fans like her books, but some romance fans might as well. However, they may not realize such a hybrid exists since they don't go to THAT (aka SF/F) side of the bookstore.
But an Indie can market it under both.
Which is very cool. But also, after years of hearing "one genre only!" from the traditional publishing world, a bit scary.
I write fantasy, space opera, and steampunk with romantic elements. What that last part means is that while my books wouldn't live in the romance isle, they all have romantic sub-plots that are really essential to the books. All of them.
I work character first- meaning, the people pop in my head then I start figuring out the story and how I can screw up my people. And couples are always there.
I love reading books like that- the ones with a great plot, fun adventure, awesome characters and romance. But, as I approach next year, and the launching of my fantasy with romantic elements series, I start to wonder if crossing the genres is going to work. Well, I'll keep writing them- but will others buy them? Love some peanut butter in their chocolate? I sure hope so.
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