Once again, I am giving thought to genre. When I start writing a story, the last thing I’m thinking of is what genre will this fit into, or how I can make it fit into any particular genre at all—let alone how I plan to market it. I simply write a story as it unfolds before me. Often, I’m not even sure just exactly how it will develop, or what character may enter and take center stage. This leaves me with a dilemma in the end, when I get ready to submit or query the completed novel
Story for a Shipwright has a strong Women’s fiction appeal, yet it is primarily written in first person from a male POV—a sensitive and insightful point of view, at that. Shouldn’t such a novel have a more universal appeal? In the end, I submitted Story for a Shipwright as Literary/General/Commercial fiction. (Don’t even get me going on the ambiguity of all those terms!)
Currently, I’m polishing a new (rewrite of an old) story. The protagonist is a 17 year-old girl, delivered in close third person. Large portions are from two different male points of view—one 27 year-old and the other 52. There are some high-schooly scenes, but the plot revolves around adult situations and issues. It doesn’t feel like Young Adult to me, though it doesn’t entirely feel like Women’s fiction, either. Then there is that relatively new genre, New Adult...hmmm. Perhaps Portrait of a Girl Running and the sequel Portrait of a Protégé can find a home there...must do further research...
Anyone familiar with New Adult literature or have an opinion on the marketability of cross-genre novels?