Writing a Novel? Where Does It Fit?

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A few years back another writer and I did a novel writing retreat. These questions are ones I developed for attendees to consider about their novels. Perhaps the updated version will be helpful for you, too.

Where will your novel be shelved after it has been published? Not just shelf, but picture what authors you will be placed between. If you don't know, take a field trip to the bookstore and see.

What is the genre and subgenre of your novel?

Middle Grade

• Adventure
• Animal
• Biographical
• Contemporary
• Early Middle Grade
• Fantasy
• Graphic
• Historical
• Horror
• Humor
• Multicultural
• Mystery
• Problem
• Religious
• School
• Science Fiction
• Sports
• Tweens

Young Adult

• Adventure
• Biographical
• Chick Lit
• Coming-of-age
• Contemporary
• Dystopian
• Edgy
• Fantasy
• Graphic
• Hi-Lo
• Historical
• Horror
• Humor
• Multicultural
• Mystery/Suspense
• Novel in Verse
• Paranormal
• Problem
• Religious
• Romance
• Science Fiction
• Sports
• Steam Punk
• Urban
• Western

I doubt these are exhaustive lists, but they should help you think about what type of novel you're writing.

What three stories are similar in some way to yours? The first 3 books or movies that come to mind when you think of your story are? What makes them similar? What is different?

Think about the books you most enjoy reading. What subgenre(s) are they? Don't know? Check out reviews, talk to booksellers and librarians.

Does what your writing fit one of the areas you love to read? If yes, keep reading those subgenres. If no, consider writing in a different subgenre--something you love to read. If you never read, how can you know what today's kids are reading?

Feel free to comment on these lists and questions. (Click on the title of the entry and it will take you to a page where you can comment.)

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