I am working on a fiction novel. Can you help me understand the different genres and sub-genres of a novel and also their importance? – Kavya
Writing genres are more commonly known as literary genres and are used to categorize a book. Broadly they are categorized into either fiction or non fiction. However the length of a novel, the content, the narrative technique and the over all tone of the book help in determining the genre.
Sub-genres is the bifurcation given to a novel further post categorizing them into fiction or non fiction. Say for e.g. you are writing a love story which makes your novel a romance fiction. The story has a suspense plot weaved in it. That makes it a romantic thriller. (Romance and thriller are two different sub genres). If your love story has lot of comic elements, it becomes a Romcom (Romance + Comedy).
Why is the genre sub-genre categorization important?
Primarily it helps you develop an over all tone for your narrative that stays consistent through the novel. It is similar to setting a mood, for the story to take shape, for the protagonists to stay true to their characters and lead to an ending that adds value to the whole story telling. It is akin to setting the reader’s expectations before they manage to read the book. The genres and sub-genres give them a hint of what to expect / what’s in store for them.
Also, it helps you zero in your target audience which in turn helps your in marketing the book appropriately.
Always try categorizing your book into atleast 2-3 sub-genres. That ways, you will have a clear picture of how the novel should shape up and also what should the USP (Unique Selling Point)of your book while marketing it.
Do you have any other tips which Kavya or someone in a similar conundrum could use? We would love to hear from you! Have any questions regarding novel-writing or any other aspect of publishing? Leave your queries in the comments and we will cover it in our next Monday Microscope.
Till then, Happy Writing!
This week’s Monday Microscope was answered by our in-house team expert, Namrata. Having worked as an editor for a publishing house, where manuscript assessment was her core KPI , she is now a freelancing beta reader for Team KC.