Tag Archives: genre

Match the Genre Answers

Yesterday I posted a Match the Genre task. I have heard that your first sentence should scream genre. The object was to match the first sentence of some Best Seller Top Ten novels to their respective genre.

My conclusion is that this might be more myth than rule. It may be true for certain genre, but not all.

Here is the key:

  1. Paranormal Romance, B. “Women have always been the property of men.” Given to the Pack, Abby Weeks
  2. Fantasy, D. “It wasn’t a very likely place for disappearances, at least at first glance.” Outlander, Diana Gabaldon
  3. Horror, F. “In one way, at least, our lives really are like movies.” Revival, Stephen King
  4. Mystery, H. “Midnight fell at The First Bank of Cleveland with the lonely clang of the great clock in the lobby.” The Dead Key, D.M. Pulley
  5. Science Fiction, E. “Karl Selig steadied himself on the ship’s rail and peered through the binoculars at the massive iceberg.” The Atlantis Gene, A.G. Riddle
  6. Historical Fiction, A. “I believe in ghosts.” Orphan Train, Christina Baker Kline
  7. Crime Fiction, G. “Zoe recoiled from the nightmare only to find it still existed in the waking world.” The One That Got Away, Simon Wood
  8. Romance, C. “That fucking prick.” Prick: A Step-Brother Romance, Sabrina Paige

Certainly you could have switched the Historical Fiction and Science Fiction around. I could see the Crime Fiction one as Horror. I might have made the Mystery one as Historical Fiction (After all who hears a grand clock chime in contemporary times?).  Paranormal Romance and Fantasy I might have expected, but “That fucking prick,” doesn’t sound very Romantic. Nothing much Horrific about Stephen King’s opening line.

I went back online to see some more Crime Fiction, because Crime Fiction, Horror and Mystery can be so close. Here’s what I found in some other novels in the Top Ten:

“Lori Kimball had three rules for the death race home.”

“There is a pile of clothing on the side of the train tracks.”

“Five figures formed a pentagram around a freshly dug mound.”

“In April 2008, Neal Lagiudice finally subpoenaed me to appear before the grand jury.”

“After his arrest at Galaxy’s casino, Billy was handcuffed and transported to the Clark County Detention Center, where he sat chained to a chair while a knuckle-dragging deputy two-finger-typed the charges against him into a desktop.”

“Six years ago, my band’s bassist was shot dead in a New York night club.”

 “Patrick sat alone.”

“’You just got out of jail?’”

“Arnie Milhouse never considered himself much of a hero.”

Running through most of these I could see Crime Fiction, but I don’t think but one or two actually screamed to me. Not like the Odd Thomas book screams paranormal suspense:

“Alone in the vastness of the Mojave, at two o’clock in the morning, racing along at seventy miles per hour, I felt safe and believed that whatever terror might await me was yet many miles ahead.”

Do you struggle with your first sentence?

Just write it until you get it right!

Non-Committal Commitments

We’ve had company for the past few days, a lovely lady from Texas that we have known for years. It was nice to play catch-up, but I’ve been sparsely reading blogs and not commenting too much.

Two quick notes: Naked Alliances has been with the proofreader this week and so far only one or two sentences needed corrections. I left off the word a before bag, put it in a bag, not put it in bag. The other was a sentence that answered a question the speaker had just referred to someone else to answer.  Haven’t a clue why I did that.

About my meds: I ordered them from Expressscripts. Don’t let the name fool you. Even though I paid to have them expedited, they don’t expedite processing, just mailing…so they were late getting to me. I thought with two weeks they would have plenty of time to get to me, but I was wrong.

I was without my meds for six or seven days. I decided when they got here, having missed several days, I would start with halves instead of wholes. I see the doc today to let him know where I am on this. I had decided not to make any changes, but I can’t help myself. I want to know.

The Naked Eye series outlines haven’t been touched.

Surviving Sister is waiting in the wings. I went back over the seven chapters I wrote and I’m feeling too much backstory, so I may start over…or I may start something new entirely.

That’s the joy of hobby writing, I have no deadlines and no established line of books where readers are waiting for the next thing. I write leisurely until I put the pressure on myself.

There are two or three stories rolling around in this crazy head, but nothing has gelled quite right, so I am toying with ideas. When I set my mind to it, and the conditions are right, it will be written.

Red Clay and Roses was written quite by accident. My writing is young and I don’t see myself committing to genre specifics at this point. Maybe I’ll find my niche, maybe I already have and just don’t know it yet. All I really know is that I enjoy writing and will keep on keeping on.

Have you found your niche?

Ever think about exploring something new?

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Genre Writing: My Questions and Answers

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Charles Yallowitz at Legends of Windemere made a great post today concerning genre writing and asks some interesting popular questions. I took up his challenge to explore these questions with this post and encourage you to do the same. Pay Charles a visit and get the list of questions.

1. What made you choose the genre that you write in?  If not working within a genre, why did you go that route?

I don’t think with my first book that I chose a genre, the genre chose me. I was simply writing a story and where it fit was not a concern.

2. What do you think are the strengths and weaknesses of working within a genre?

Strengths: Practice makes perfect. Writing, writing, and writing in the same scope is bound to help an author hone their craft. Having a specific genre aids marketing for sure…you know exactly where your work fits and have a pretty good idea where to find your audience and who they are.

Weaknesses:  Creativity. Genre reading and writing can become mundane and too predictable. I read a crossover of many genres and can’t understand how some readers can stay so genre dedicated, for example to romance, or historical fiction, or reading only crime novels/thrillers. I like expanding my knowledge base and testing my comprehension. It is part of the perpetual student in me.

3. Do you think genres crossover a lot more often than we realize?

Traditionally, no. Most recently, say in the past five years, yes. I think breaking away from traditional publishing control has helped that. Some don’t think it is a good thing, but I feel it is fantastic for broadening horizons, thinking outside the box, creative expression…that sort of thing.

4. Would you try another genre or are you locked into your area as a specialist?  Do you believe this hurts you as an author?

As a reader, yes! I love exploring other genre. As a writer, I tried, and though some readers thought I was successful, I did not feel it. It was uncomfortable to my linear stream of consciousness writing style and required more plotting and outlining than I like to do. I don’t think it hurts you as an author to try other styles of genre writing, if anything, it contributes to developing other talent.

5. Would you write within a genre that you don’t like, but is currently popular in order to get your foot in the door of the business?

Again, I tried. My work is literary and historical. The crime novel was/is an adventure. I would like to go back to it at some point and see if I can accomplish it. My husband loved it but, to me, it seemed shallow and superficial. I like my work to have a deeper moral or historical value.

I write for fun and making a profit is not my goal. My focus has been on presenting evidences, stimulating thinking and introspection through fiction and letting the reader make up their own mind about issues presented. More informative than entertaining in that these are real life situations not reality escapes…yet, they are presented in a creatively imagined world with creatively developed characters.

Keywords and Visibility on Amazon

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If you, like me, have been having trouble categorizing your book in order to get better visibility for sells, this link might help.  I was using random keywords related to highlights of my book, but not coming up well in searches.

KEYWORDS

I had enormous difficulty in getting the correct keywords through KDP for visibility until I ran across this rather obscure piece on KDP’s site.  I was using all the wrong keywords.  The keywords that I was using were all related to my book, but they were NOT the specifically programed words and phrases that Amazon uses.  I was barely able to find my book in search results until I ran across this page.  Now, I have sold more books in the past two weeks than I had in the past two months, just by getting these correct keywords into place.

It seems that Amazon has specific keywords programmed to assist or enhance searches that I was not aware of.  Now I can find my book on the 1st through the 30th page of any search I put in using these keywords.  You can still use random words and phrases, provided you remember to put a comma between the phrase and the word, but these specific keywords may be most helpful.

You will see a list of broad genre selections.  Click on the one or two (you are allowed up to two) that best fit your book and you will see a spreadsheet that shows keywords.  Choose some specific keywords (you are allowed up to seven) from the list.  Try those.  I’ll bet you will see improved results.  I sure have.  If you lose this link, it is under help for “Browse Categories”.  Hope this is helpful to new authors, or any author who needs enhanced search results.  It has certainly improved my visibility.

This page is NOT in the edit book details where you put in your selected genre, this is in the help guide.  You have to then go to edit book details to make your changes.

Categories With Keyword Requirements:

In order to list your title in certain sub-categories, you’ll need to add Search Keywords in addition to the categories you choose for your title.

Click a category in the list below to see the keyword requirements. 

Search Keywords MUST include at least one of the keywords or phrases listed next to the sub-category.

Science Fiction & Fantasy

Children’s

Teen & Young Adult

Mystery, Thriller, & Suspense

Comics & Graphic Novels

Literature & Fiction