What’s your Genre?

I’ve never been one to neatly fit in a category.  I’ve been smooshed and forced into other peoples expectations, only to use my super octopus powers to escape.  It’s hard to put a lid on someone/something when there are bits and pieces pushing to be free.


As an author, I can be as mysterious and eccentric. How my writing represents me is another story (ha!).  If I can not define the genres I write in, how can anyone else ever propose, pitch or sell my work? My current manuscript is an Urban Fantasy, but all my short stories tend to fit in the category of Speculative Fiction.

What is Speculative Fiction?

Speculative fiction is an umbrella term encompassing the more highly imaginative fiction genres, specifically including science fiction, fantasy, horror, supernatural fiction, superhero fiction, utopian and dystopian fiction, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, and alternate history.

I love asking the question ‘What if?’.  What if the world zombified, how would the non-zombies survive and why? What if a nuclear disaster struck and how would your mind cope with the aftermath?  What if aliens visited?  What if, what if, what if…

What’s your genre?

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18 comments

  • Mainly fantasy and urban fantasy. Although some of the sniglets that insist I write them down for possible future use probably fall into the speculative definition.

    • I love sniglets. They make writing so fun!

      • What an anthology that would make — nothing but sniglets!

        • That would be fun. Completely diverse in subject matter. Mmmm. Sniglets Among Us, Sniglets on Parade, What’s Your Sniglet (though that sounds more self-help), etc. Now my brain is becoming Dr. Seuss. 🙂

  • I feel the same way. My books are about zombies brought about by alien parasites. The sentient, malevolent parasites cause some humans to become zombies, and unwittingly give super-powers to a select group of humans. I suppose I fit firmly in the supernatural-horror-sci-fantasy category.

    • I like the premise. I’ll have to check them out. Zombie’s have grown on me.

  • What agent wouldn’t classify a book with time travelers as sci-fi? (We’re not talking The Time Traveler’s Wife here.) But a strong mystery/intrigue theme runs through it.

    I classify my other book as mainstream, even though we see the main character’s life in three alternate universes. Seriously, it’s not sci-fi, and I’d hesitate to call it speculative. But that might be a publisher’s preferred category. It’ll be a tough one to pitch….

    • I have an old project, that I take out time to time, that is hard to classify. All the feedback I’ve heard is get as close as you can to a genre then write a great pitch.

      • When you don’t exactly fit in a category you get to use the “Great twist on the genre” line.

        • That’s a great line.

  • I’ve asked my readers the same question and everyone comes up empty! The best I can figure is: literary, mainstream, and at times YA. What a mess!

  • I classify my writing as science fiction; however, I also branch out into a little bit of the thriller genre as well. It’s so very hard to just write one genre when you prefer to read several different types.

    • I think exploring other genres and letting our minds play, just make us better writers. 🙂

      • Exactly! We are multidimensional people. Our writing should reflect that.

  • I’m glad to see you Finally answered my question about what is Speculative Fiction. 😉

    And that’s not what I write. I write ‘mainstream’ fiction. Some are YA.

    That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 😉 …or until an agent tells me otherwise. 😉

    • See? There are more than enough colors in the crayon box for what we write. 😉

  • My novel is crime fiction but short stories and flash fiction I’ll write anything, horror or paranormal content. The freedom is good so just write what you want to and tell your story, let others classify it once you’ve finished.

    • Getting the story/novel out is half the battle.

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