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Genres, Subgenres, Sub-subgenres

I have had an internal struggle going on with my novel since I attended a book pitching seminar earlier this year. It's in regards to the genre. What I have realized is that I am writing a novel (possibly New Adult or Adult) that happens to have some Young Adult main characters. I have decided that is okay. My main character is young, but advanced for his age, and he deals with things that are heavier than most young adults typically deal with. He will deal with some typical young adult situations as well. Adults will be able to relate to the mature content, but also remember some of their youthful beginnings. The contrast should be interesting to write. I am happy to have figured out that piece of the dilemma.

My book is Science Fiction in that a large piece of it involves alien conspiracy. It could be Soft Sci-Fi because I care more about the characters and plot-lines than I do about the sci-fi bits. It could also be Social Sci-Fi and Dystopian as I do go into the social structure on the alien side of things. It could also be Mundane in some ways as the technology I speak of is not all super advanced. It has romantic elements to it and perhaps erotic elements. Some of the technology may have a Steampunk flair, but the story is not a Steampunk tale. Now I have a little more clarity and direction for the second part of the first novel of the series, but I'm still struggling with nailing down the genre.

I have been getting a lot of ideas for what is coming in part two and I'm excited to write it. My protagonist has aged some and he's facing new social situations that will continue to challenge him and bring about growth. I am also excited to continue writing the supporting story lines.

It could be dangerous to continue without nailing down my genre though.

How much of an element denotes that it is part of a genre? I know I intend for some characters to get romantic, but the goal of the novels are not those romantic relationships. There's definitely sex in them, but I don't think it's so often as to indicate erotica. Alien conspiracy is the overarching theme, but I don't spend all my time talking about the alien element. The alien conspiracy elements are often intermingled with the social sci-fi and dystopian elements. As a whole, the first novel is on the softer side of sci-fi. So I'm writing an Adult, Soft Sci-Fi, Alien Conspiracy, is what I have concluded. Phew. Did you know there were so many kinds of sci-fi out there? I didn't. Check this sub-genre list out.

Writing a novel isn't as simple as just writing.

If you want to get it published, you need to know what you are selling. Where will it go on the book shelf? My next task, while continuing to write the second part, is to find books in my genre. A good author knows what else is in the marketplace in their genre. Admittedly, right now I have no clue.

Looks like I have some homework.

I also have Comiccon, a martial arts training conference, a roller derby bout, and writers meetups taking up the month of May. Those things are on top of regular roller derby and martial arts practices, cross-training, full-time work, mundane things like chores, and the occasional bit of time to relax. Oh, and perhaps the odd date. My life is fairly full these days, but I'm loving it.

Ciao
R~

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