Cryfi and Other Writerly Musings

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.


4 responses to “Cryfi and Other Writerly Musings

  1. Reading Blaker Snyder’s “Save the Cat” and he does a fabulous job outlining all the reasons why we have to become adept at this. He also helps you find methods that work for you for discovering the genre, story type and logline. Well worth your read.

    • Thanks for the great info, Victoria. I think it is so important for us to know what we wrote. And the reasons are many.

      I just helped a writer friend with her study guide questions for her novel. Before we got started, we hashed out her desired audience for the questions. Not something I’ve ever really considered before, but it definitely changed the way I viewed how many different audiences a book can truly have. Pinpointing who will be reading and why is so very important for us before we ever query an agent and a big part of that is knowing where our books will sit on the shelves. IE, it’s all about genre, baby!

  2. Cry-Fi!? You are officially my (s)hero.

    And now I have an absurd desire to sit down and make a list of other new genre categories. But I might need more tea first.

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