While commenting on a blog, I got the verification word: Cry-Fi.
It immediately struck my writer’s brain as a new genre. Chick-litty Science Fiction. Flippant, self-centered MCs who shop for the newest cosmic fashion while saving the universe from an impending hostile take-over by an alien race of pond scum.
And then it hit me. I’ve seen these stories before. Cry-Fi exists. Not in so many words, but as writers tend to cross the traditional genre boundaries, these melting-pot stories have emerged full force.
Nobody wants their writing to be put in a box–narrowly defined by a word or two. We want something bigger, grander. New and cosmically cool. Heck, we want our writing to break virgin ground.
Yet, this mentality can greatly damage our chances of ever seeing our writing in the bookstore. Agents must define our manuscripts so they can pitch them to editors who must visualize their spot on the bookshelf. This pitch is necessary for marketing and publicity.
Our future books cannot simply demand a new section in the already established book stores. Cyber or otherwise.
Go ahead, try it. Create a new word and google it. It’s impossible to find because it does not exist anywhere but your own head. This is the fate of your out-of-the-box, Cry-Fi novel. If people don’t know about it, they can’t search for it.
So, as much as it hurts to see your manuscript pinned with a generic label or two, it is a necessary evil. And it starts with us. The writers. We must give agents something tangible to pitch to editors to pitch to marketing to pitch to bookstores to pitch to readers.
Having trouble defining where your novel fits? Check out this handy genre list.
Got a new genre you’re pitching? Share it with us and we’ll see if it catches on!
*Writing a series? Hop on over to From the Write Angle and see if it’s for you.