This morning, my crit partner Laura and I were chatting about the merits of knowing your genre. This came about because of my own confusion about genre and marketability. As it stands, my WIP is written like a Young Adult novel, but the characters are slightly older, which makes it more of a New or Emerging Adult manuscript. The problem is that the New Adult genre isn’t widely recognized and is a marketing challenge, so it’s harder to sell that type of book to a publisher.
However, that’s not what this post is about. Laura already covered that on her blog, so check it out if you want to know more. No, that’s simply the background you need with regards to this morning’s chat. That, and the fact that Laura and I have an inside joke about writing horse stories. Anyway, this is what we said (with some things redacted to protect the privacy of our manuscripts):
Now clearly, I was joking. This has nothing to do with my current story or my thoughts on its sequel. But the idea of it cracks me up. How funny would it be to be reading a YA romance/adventure, only to have the main characters take off on horseback at the end, and then discover their horse is evil? I find this idea so entertaining that I might actually write it in short story form just for this blog.
My point in sharing this is to illustrate the beauty of brainstorming. Although this particular idea isn’t a publisher’s dream, goofing around with your friends is great fodder for stories. You never know when these kinds of tangents will lead to inspiration, although it admittedly helps to have amazing and hilarious friends (thanks, Laura!). Of course, another great source is your dreams. Like mine from the other night about a futuristic version of Mad Men, complete with bicycles, bookstores, the Humane Society and Jon Hamm. It involved the job application process at the Humane Society of the Future, in which you had to prove that 1) you know how to order books through Barnes and Noble, and 2) you can resist the charms of Don Draper. Naturally, I was one for two. (Insert obligatory vegetarian joke about hating bacon but loving Hamm.)
Now that’s a great plot idea. Really. Who wouldn’t want to read that story?
Anyway, for the record, I have decided to revise my WIP and make it strictly YA. If I were more established, I might try to shoot for the NA genre, but as a new author, I’m sticking with easy marketability.
Thoughts? Comments? Questions?