So your happy little fingers are about to embark on the wondrous challenge of NaNoWriMo (AKA National Novel Writing Month) and your happy little writer’s mind has this sweet idea that’s gonna launch you over the 50,000-word finish line in, like, a week.
Good for you. Stay positive; you’ll need it.
So you log in and get to the “My Novel” screen and see this thing:
ARGH! The audacity of them to make you know, and publicly declare the Genre already! What? Really? You do? Damn you.
Well for those of us who aren’t as sure as Ms Already-Know-My-Genre, here is some help in determining what your NaNoWriMo thingy’s genre is. We will bastardize “The Old Man and the Sea” for this exercise.
Consider this: ANY of these can be “Thriller”, “Mystery”, “Humor” or “Romance” (depending on your writing style) or, thanks to Rule 34, “Erotic Fiction”. Also, “Old Man” is generic for “Impact Character”, Like Ben Kenobi to Luke Skywalker or Dumbledore to Harry Potter.
So here’s the formula — Titular Synopsis: Likely Genre (Possible Genre) – “Story that comes to mind”
Example — The Old Man and the Sea: Literary (Spiritual) – “The Old Man And the Sea” (the trope namer LOL)
Got it? Here we go
The Old Man and the…
…Robot: Sci-Fi (Action, Horror, Inspirational) – “I, Robot”, “Bicentennial Man”, “A.I.”, “The Terminator”
…Moon (any planet): Sci-Fi (Action, Horror, Fantasy, Historical) – “Capricorn One”, “Apollo 13”, “Apollo 18”
…Creature: Horror (Sci-Fi) – “Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus”, “Herbert West – Re-animator”
…Elf/Dwarf/Dragon: Fantasy (YA) – LoTR and a billion others
…Young Apprentice: YA (Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Historical) – Arthurian Legend, “Harry Potter” series
…Young Lady: YA (Literary, Chick Lit, Sci-Fi) – “Hunger Games”, “Lolita”
…Old Lady: Literary (Chick Lit) – “Driving Miss Daisy”, “The Notebook”
…Dead Body: This could go a thousand different ways – Hercule Poirot stories, or (if zombie) Horror
…End of the World: Again, could go in any direction, but “Distopian YA” and “Zombie Apocalypse” seem the fashion these days.
…Old Memories: Historical (Chick Lit, Literary, Sci-FI) – “Schindler’s List”, “The Notebook”, “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”
So…sot even CLOSE to complete/authoritarian/quotable. Maybe not even close to accurate.
The point is to take one obstacle out of your way so you can focus on writing the thing. Worry about classifying it later.
Today, finish whatever passes for novel prep in your world and get ready for a great time writing the first draft of your new novel.
I’ll see you in print in May, just in time for the ‘summer reads’ *wink*.
Be safe and be well.