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What genre is my novel?

(13 Posts)
whevs Wed 03-Dec-14 11:12:26

I am close to completing the first draft of my first novel, and my task for 2015 is to start approaching agents. I want to be able to sell a polished package- and that seems to involve knowing what genre you're selling, and to whom.

I'm stuck on genre. It's not that I don't know what my book IS- I can picture exactly who and what I am aiming for. I just don't know how to label it.

In terms of what I am striving for, think authors such as Nick Hornby, David Nicholls or Tony Parsons. The novel is about relationships, growing up and parenthood, and speaks to the struggles and emotion of the everyday, with a central human story about a particular character. It's set in the modern day. I'm aiming for a style with humour and feeling (laughter and the odd tear), accessible but good quality. I guess it's a 'holiday read'- but one which you'd be happy to discuss at a dinner party, rather than one you'd hide between the pages of a weightier tome on the beach. And I would imagine the main readership would be women- but their blokes might borrow it afterwards.

With all that in mind, can anybody help me identify the correct name for the genre this might fall into? I've read up about the various genre but still can't get my head around them.

It's not 'chick lit'- I don't think? I wouldn't put, for example, 'One Day' into that category (God I'd love to write a book as good as that....). And I don't feel I could call it 'literary' (feels so grand!) but then 'commercial' conjures up images of windswept historical beauties on series of books about sexy-tragic potato farming orphans.... Perhaps 'literary-commercial crossover'? Or 'women's fiction'? HALP!

BigPawsBrown Wed 03-Dec-14 11:14:35

It's women's fiction. David Nicholls writes women's fiction - it's just commercial or accessible literary fiction that primarily women read

MythicDay Wed 03-Dec-14 11:26:28

Book Club Fiction - it's an intelligent read / upmarket commercial fiction. Popular with agents right now.

Hope this helps, and good luck!

whevs Wed 03-Dec-14 13:25:42

Perfect- thank you! Now I'd better finish the thing....

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Wed 03-Dec-14 17:09:00

Another vote for book club fiction.
Women's fiction is fine too.

whevs Wed 03-Dec-14 17:42:32

Had not even heard of Book Club Fiction before- glad I posted!

(Does that mean fiction which gets discussed for seven minutes, sandwiched being a long pre-amble concerning school admissions and house prices, and a descent into gossipy filth as the wine flows...?)

whevs Wed 03-Dec-14 17:43:15

*between not being. Note to self: type the right words.

BigPawsBrown Wed 03-Dec-14 21:19:26

I don't actually think it is bookclub fiction. This is a very specific genre (Jodi picoult is the queen of it) where it's a sort of serious what would you do (often medical, legal or ethical dilemmas). It's rarely "light".

TheWordFactory Thu 04-Dec-14 10:59:48

Women's Contemporary Fiction?

Reasonable sized market for that.

But if you're not sure, don't stress too much. Just plump fpr something near enough. The worse thing you can do is hedge your bets with some long winded description !

TheWordFactory Thu 04-Dec-14 11:01:50

And personally, I wouldn't mention the word crossover.

Whilst this is what every agent/publisher is secretly hoping to happen, selling a book that straddles two stools is legendarily hard.

whevs Thu 04-Dec-14 13:56:29

Thanks for the responses. Yes I think I see what you mean about book club fiction, BigPawsBrown.

I think Women's Fiction, or Women's Contemporary Fiction, would be most appropriate.

Totally getting ahead of myself! So exciting even if I just end up writing it for pleasure.

Reeseair Tue 23-Dec-14 10:06:46

I would definitely say Women's Fiction. smile

Good luck with the book!

kerrymumbles Sat 10-Jan-15 15:29:29

If in doubt call it "Contemporary Fiction

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