Constraint – definition: the state of being checked, restricted, or compelled to avoid some action
Within the multitude of genres in fiction, there are constraints on what is and what is not ‘allowed’ in terms of content or style based on the genre’s ‘main’ heading. See here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_literary_genres
When you are defining your novels, what methods do you use to decide on its ‘genre’?
Do you decide to write specifically to a particular genre prior to starting a new manuscript?
Or - do you write your story and worry about the genre later on?
As most of you know I am a free flow writer so my story comes first and the defining comes much later. For many authors this pigeon holing our work is difficult and this fact is reflected in the sub-genres that are being created almost daily. We can also use a technique where by we utilize several ‘genre headings’ in our description. Such as the list here: https://www.worldswithoutend.com/resources_sub-genres.asp , which only deals with fantasy and sci-fi. So there is a method open to us to use our genre description as a way to entice more than one ‘type’ of reader. Romance readers would never go to the horror section first but if the description was something like – romantic suspense – then maybe they would pick up your book.
It is a matter of looking at your story and defining the main theme, even if it is underlining thread throughout the narrative. My novel, Life in Slake Patch is an alternative world order but basically has a young man trying to change the ‘laws’ so he can be with the woman he loves. It can be described as speculative fiction but romantic speculative fiction is better.
My novel, The Twesome Loop also has romantic elements in it but also has a reincarnation element. How would I describe that one? Suggestions welcome!