Friday, September 8, 2017
Question from a Writer - Part 2
I've been doing a lot of research about how to query an agent and one of the things that is hardest for me is how to define the genre of a manuscript. I've not submitted anything to anyone yet because I'm afraid of sending to someone outside of what they accept. I have read that you accept women's fiction and romance, both of which I think one of my manuscripts would fall under, but not exclusively. Also, none of my writings really adhere to one type of "aesthetic," if that makes sense. I read an article that said in the beginning (of attempting to be published) you should write for a specific audience so that you are certain of your place. Is that good advice? I feel like it would be good if my goal was to only be published (which of course it is) but I also want to be entertaining and not pigeonhole myself. All of this is very confusing. I feel like I might be ready to pursue something with my writing, but I just want to make sure I'm doing it right.
We answered the red part of the question yesterday. Today, we are going to take the time to focus on the second part of this author's question (Marked in Blue).
Like knowing your genre, knowing where you want your story and who you want to write for is important. Every publisher out there has a different voice and style. Although they all write similar genres, the voice is different. Some lean more toward a literary voice, some more of a commercial voice. This would also apply for someone interested in writing for a series line such as Harlequin or Entangled, of they are considering a single title line. Even the difference between print and e-publishing has a different voice. You have to think of who would be buying these books.
As you think of where your story would go, consider the types of stories that you read. Look at your "go to" authors and check out the publishers. You will likely find that you are drawn more to one voice than the other.
After you have found this out, really spend the time dissecting the writing styles. Look beyond the plots and focus instead on style and structure. How much do they rely on secondary characters? Balance between narration and dialogue. It's the small things.
You are really looking for the right fit.
Now the second part of this was the issue of being "pigeon holed." I hear so many authors complain about this. When I start talking about genres and subgenres, you always get this group of authors who don't want to be told what to write. This issue here s that you DO want to be pigeon-holed. You want to create a voice and style that your readers will want to gravitate to. You want to create a brand that people will know you for. There is nothing to say you can't change to a new voice later, but for new authors, create that brand.
That should relieve your tension!
Hope these two days helped! Thanks for the question!