Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Genre Headache

As I work through the first draft of my WiP, I realize identifying a genre to describe my work will be an ongoing process. My style tends toward literary fiction, in that I explore the human condition through character-driven storytelling. I'm a fan of lush descriptions, a poetic voice. On the other hand, the plot I've devised is riddled with suspense. The stakes are high, life-threatening. Each character is plagued with conflict borne from psychological tensions. Oh yes, and there's romance in there too. Is there a blanket genre that covers all those characteristics?

Perhaps there is. Perhaps, I'm writing a work of commercial fiction.

AgentQuery.com says, "Commercial fiction uses high-concept hooks and compelling plots to give it a wide, mainstream appeal...Like literary fiction, the writing style in commercial fiction is elevated beyond generic mainstream fiction. But unlike literary fiction, commercial fiction maintains a strong narrative storyline as its central goal, rather than the development of enviable prose or internal character conflicts." (Read all their genre definitions HERE.)

The verdict's still out. Hopefully, my beta readers (*waves to DL!*) will help me categorize my work before researching agents. And that, my dear friends, is still in the (near?) future.

Does your WiP fall gracefully under one genre heading? Have you found an umbrella genre that pretty much covers your work's characteristics? Do you wish there was a genre called "Other?"