What genre do I write?

In my About page I loosely call myself a smut romance writer. But I’ve come to realize, I don’t really write that much smut -do I? Some of my fanfic ideas pretty much revolve around S-E-X, but, while there are sex scenes in my other stories, I wouldn’t necessarily say that the plot depends or revolves around them.

I’m not even really a “romance” writer, paranormal or other. Romances follow a formula: Two people meet, usually hate each other but have undeniable sexual tension, stuff happens, it looks like they’re not going to wind up together, but then they do. (I’m not saying this is a bad thing, at all -sometimes you want a predictable ending, and it doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy yourself on the journey to get there.) But while I would say that love and romantic relationships are very important themes in my stories, I don’t think they really follow this formula. So calling myself a romance writer could be misleading.

I throw around the term “urban fantasy” a lot to describe my novel-in-progress. I think it’s a pretty fitting description: It’s a fantasy or paranormal book, and the setting is in the city. My author idol Karen Marie Moning identifies her Fever series as being urban fantasy. But I’ve also heard the genre “urban fantasy” used to specifically describe stories or books that combine African American main characters and culture with fantastical elements. Most of my stories or even mere ideas for stories involve sci-fi, fantasy and paranormal themes, so I think they’re still fitting descriptions for my work. And obviously, if the main characters are of high school age, you can stick it in the “young adult” category.

I’m just trying to find a niche for myself, to be able to succinctly describe my work to other people. To be honest, I’m not even sure I want to stick a specific genre on my stories. I want to borrow elements from different genres, although as I said all of the categories I’ve mentioned above do fit. I don’t want my work to follow a formula. I want my books to be sexy, but I don’t want the whole point of the book to be waiting for the two main characters to have sex. I do love a good love triangle, though, which unfortunately has also become a popular formula as of late. This also isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s just I’ve always loved this device, but now that it’s in every single immensely popular book that’s out there, it’s overdone. Now it’ll just seem like I’m joining the crowd.

My WIP The Fallen has a love triangle developing, but again, that wasn’t the point of my writing it. It’s really about this girl who is forced to confront some demons from her past and who is trying to reconcile that with her new life in college. Although the book is certainly not supposed to be anything super profound -it’s meant to entertain -I did want it to follow Siobhan’s journey of self-discovery, which is why it takes place in college. She’s trying to unravel the mystery behind these powerful new people in her life. And sure, all the while she has three hot guys who all want her: Her college hook-up Max, her high school beau and sexy punk rocker, Jimmy, and her handsome but manipulative TA, Jasper.

Sorry, I know this is a weird post -I’m just typing as I think this over. I guess I’m trying to get in marketing mode so if/when I write some query letters, I can be very persuasive. 😉

What genre do you classify your own work as? Or do you like drawing from a variety of influences? What genre do you think I write (lol)? Feel free to sound off in the comments!

4 thoughts on “Genre-Bending

  1. I would say Paranormal Romance. That seems like the ‘it’ term to call fantasy when it’s outside the medieval, other worldly realm and is set in the modern world. If you’re wondering if you’re a romance writer (I used to think I didn’t write romance either), just ask yourself; Is there a theme of love in this story (and it doesn’t have to be the main theme, it could be a background theme)? Would you say women would like it more than men? If you answered yes to these questions, then it’s definitely romance. I’d call what you write romance but that’s just my opinion based on what I’ve read of your writing. But you don’t really need a label until you write a lot of the same stuff, like me for example-I have a lot of stories and most of them are Paranormal Romances, so I get labeled even though I may write a story that has nothing to do with Romance every once in awhile. I don’t think you should label yourself until you’re ready anyway. Does that help? Ha ha, I never thought about it that hard before. You’re deep 😉


    • I tend to overthink just about everything, haha! But I think you’re right, that as long as there’s a strong theme of romance in the book, you can call it a romance. I feel reaffirmed that calling myself a paranormal romance writer suites me, at least right now. 🙂


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