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Does my book even fit into a genre? (2 Viewers)

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Walt1093

Senior Member
I've spent two years on my debut novel, finishing at age 18. Its coming along very nicely as I'm getting close ot the 2nd draft. But, I have a problem. The book, Death Valley, is a unique tale that I'm afraid might be TOO unique to market. Here's the plot:

An American missionary in 1870s Africa searches for answers when a strong, native warrior is torn to pieces by a wild animal. The animal's bizarre footprints lead to a canyon, 2000 feet deep. While tracking the creature, the missionary crosses paths with a small European expedition, which wants to explore the crater below. Things go awry when the party becomes trapped inside, and is preyed upon by bloodthirsty creatures.

I'm thinking historical fiction, but the fact that I'm involving extinct creatures inside a mythical crater world might cause some problems in marketing if I try to go the traditional publishing route. Any suggestions?
 

Walt1093

Senior Member
To me personally, it sounds closer to horror.

Well, my book is grim and bloody, but not necessarily frightening. The "creatures" are dinosaurs, not mythical monsters. The story is like "The Island of Dr. Moreau" meets "Jurassic Park". Violent like JP, but suspenseful like IDRM.
 

squidtender

Space Lord
Patron
The island of Dr. Moreau is like a sci-fi/horror while Jurassic park is sci-fi (but had some good "jump" points). Have you thought about calling it science fiction?
 

Walt1093

Senior Member
There's a problem with sci fi, because my book features no advanced technology. Its simply about crater in the earth which isolates a small population of dinosaurs from the jungle of Central Africa. The charcters use 19th century weapons to protect themselves: dynamite, repeating rifles, revolvers, etc. There's just not enough high-tech in the story to make it sci fi. My best guess is historical fiction with a slight horror touch.
 

Walt1093

Senior Member
Do you want it to?

Well, I'm facing the problem of publishing since I'm getting close to the end. However, finding a publisher who would even consider the story is going to be a real problem without a definite genre. Personally, I wasn't writing for any genre in particular; I just had a good idea, and wanted to make a story out of it.
 
B

Baron

Exchange your canyon for a plateau and you have the plot to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Lost World". The Lost Worlds literary genre is said to have originated with the writing of H. Ryder Haggard. Nothing new under the sun.
 

Tiamat

Patron
How's about speculative fiction? That's kind of a cover-all. It includes a lot of fantasy, sci-fi, horror, utopian/dystopian fiction, alternative history, and so on and so forth. I see no reason why this genre wouldn't fit your work.
 

Walt1093

Senior Member
Exchange your canyon for a plateau and you have the plot to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Lost World". The Lost Worlds literary genre is said to have originated with the writing of H. Ryder Haggard. Nothing new under the sun.

I understand what you mean, however, I strongly disagree. I have read Doyle's version, and I'm a HUGE fan of Haggard. But, in terms of story structure, those novels are not in any way similar to the story I've penned. The lost world and king solomon's mines have happy-go-lucky, adventurous feel to them. The characters just meander through the story and make new discoveries. Death Valley, on the other hand is morbid, dark, bloody, and has a recurring theme of doom. Think, The Island of Dr. Moreau with dinosaurs. Trust me, the only thing Death Valley has in common with those is a lost world.


As for the genre, I'm aware of it. Edgar Rice Burroughs? lol The lost world genre simply does not exist in today's market, mostly because there are no frontiers left, save for outer space. Notice I put the story in a historical setting?
 

Walt1093

Senior Member
How's about speculative fiction? That's kind of a cover-all. It includes a lot of fantasy, sci-fi, horror, utopian/dystopian fiction, alternative history, and so on and so forth. I see no reason why this genre wouldn't fit your work.

Specualtive might be the best way to go, especially in terms of finding a publisher. But speculative is just so broad, the average reader only knows horror, murder, sci fi, romance, thriller, etc.
 
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