Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

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Which Genre – A Decision All Authors Have To Make…

October 20, 2014

articlesWithin 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:

This link is helpful when defining the genre:

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: , 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 novella, The Rython Kingdom is set in medieval England so is part historical, there is a love element, so I can add romance but there is also a malevolent witch plotting to kill, so do I add suspense, horror or adventure as well?

Children’s books are easier to promote – a short description of the story is normally enough. Rumble’s First Scare follows a young monster on his first Halloween adventure, while Ockleberries to the Rescue is the story of woodland sprites aiding their forest animals friends.

My current WIP is easier to define – a western romance, Willow Tree Tears is the story of a barrel racer deciding whether to love an old friend or a charming stranger. I will be entering the NaNoWriMo challenge this November and have decided on a new genre – thriller/suspense. The Giving Thief is inspired by three true to life news stories.

How did you decide on your novel’s genre?

When you are defining your novels, what methods do you use to decide on its ‘genre’? Do you write one or more genre’s?

Do you decide to write specifically to a particular genre prior to starting a new manuscript?



  1. I think some genres are just so much easier to define than others. But defining genres is just so you can be shelved. You still should write what you want to write – but with half an eye on that shelf I suppose ..,


    • We don’t want to be pigeon-holed as creativity is an ever flowing and changing element but without some direction our work could be ‘over looked’ if placed in the ‘wrong’ area.
      Thanks for dropping by, Rebecca.


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