Reading the untitled book I mentioned in my last post, the question of Niche came up. This is a very valid question, but in the world of fiction writing, niche has another name: Genre.
Don’t go running away now, it isn’t that scary. Really!
If nothing else, one thing I have learned is that genre is so, so, so
important. Why? Forget being told that it means publishers know what your book is about, or that book sellers know what shelf to put it on. Though that may be true, without genre you won’t get published!
This is my belief. I have founded it on this: Genre keeps you on track.
You are writing a crime? Then where is the crime? The detective?
Romance? Then you need to inject some lurrrvee.
Thriller? Then why are you sitting laughing at your characters latest antics?
When writing with genre in mind, your characters end up doing the right things. When you get stuck, your genre can give you some clues as to where to go next.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t change your mind. That thriller can become a comedy. and the romance can become crime, and you can even write in two genres at once! The important thing is that you know what your book is about and what book shelf it will be sold from.
So before you begin, forget everything else. Think Genre!