What is your Niche?

Posted: April 20, 2012 in Writing
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


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!

  1. liz young says:

    Yeah – right – and what about me, stuck with a mind that sets one book in the saga genre, one in psychological thriller genre and a series in fantasy? I can’t make myself stick to a genre to save my life!

    • Sam Perkins says:

      If it works, that is great! As long as it isn’t all in one book.

      But, if it works all in one book, then I think you are onto a winner. You’d never get more unique than that!

  2. This is my problem! My current WIP has murder, police, a suicide, love, corruption, and all wrapped up in a family saga lol

    There’s definitely no hope for me lol


    • Sam Perkins says:

      Is it your first novel? My first novel is like that. And I’m editing it now! The key for you I would think is,pick the different bit sand write them as different novels. Just get it out your system if it is your first. You’ll soon figure out what you like/are good at.

  3. Sam – you hit the nail on the head. It’s so easy to lose focus in long fiction. But some genres are easier to stay on track with than others. What about ‘contemporary women’s fiction’ – that can cover a multitude of sins.

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