Before you begin writing fiction, you should determine which genre best fits your story idea. The quickest way to determine this is to check the upper, left-hand corner of the back cover of one of your favorite books that is similar to the book you have in mind to write. The genre is usually listed there.
In your study of your favorite books, you may have determined the parameters for writing a book of that specific genre. If not, you can obtain submission guidelines and genre specifics by contacting the publishers of your favorite books. Also, many writers for particular genres have formed organizations or associations to help them beat the publishing odds. For example, one is the Romance Writers of America, another is the Mystery Writers of America, etc. If you feel you could benefit from contact with other writers and don’t want to join a national organization, you could obtain genre information from a local writing group, too. Although the local group may not be genre-specific, it will have valuable information to share on many genres.
Here are some of the most common fiction genres:
New Age fiction
Within many of these genres are sub-genres. For example, there are many specific sub-genres within the genre of romance. Some of them are:
Young adult romantic fiction
Contemporary series or single
Paranormal romantic fiction
You may want to write a novel about a specific sub-genre. It’s a good idea before you begin to write your novel, to determine the genre (and sub-genre, if appropriate) and determine what the requirements are for writing in that genre. This will save you time in the long run.
Many of the publishers of genre fiction have specific guidelines for the books they will publish. For example, many have a limitation on the number of pages or number of words that make up the book. Others have specifications about what the plot must contain. For example, some will not consider a book with too much violence or too much sex; whereas others require a certain amount of violence or sex. It’s best to do your homework on these issues to save you time and heartache later.
When deciding on a genre and topic for your novel, it’s best to choose the one that is most familiar to you because you will know the ins and outs of that genre naturally.