I had a wonderful opportunity yesterday to sit down and discuss my new, unreleased novel with one of my beta readers yesterday. He provided some terrific insight in regards to characterization and novel pacing. He even shared with me that he felt that the novel didn’t feel like a novel in some regards. He kept using describing it as a TV show, something fast-paced and visual. It was an interesting description at the very least.
Beta readers provide terrific feedback into how a novel plays out in the realm of the reader. By the time I have polished a novel enough to want to send it to a beta reader, I’ve gone over the text so many times that I begin to be numb to it and what it is actually saying. The meanings of the novel become obscured to me by the minutia of the details I pay attention to when I’m revising. So this has become an invaluable step to see what others think.
As we concluded this fruitful back and forth about the novel, I informed him that I had one more question: how would he categorize it in regards to genre.
Honestly, this was a sneaky underhanded question because I needed his advice since I am clueless how to categorize this story. So he hesitated and said that that was a difficult question. I know. Then he said:
It’s not a fantasy. Though it has two fantastical characters.
It’s partially historical fiction, though the time periods are contemporary and 1977 and 1989, so not really historical fiction.
It’s a time travel story, but it’s not science fiction.
So what it is?
I HAVE NO IDEA!
Boy, do I hate categorizing my writing. The beta reader complimented me for creating something that was unique, which doesn’t easily categorize itself. He also mentioned that he’d never really seen anything quite like it before, which is difficult to do in this day and age.
So, all that is great, but how do I market it to readers. Let me use a phrase I’ve used before.
I HAVE NO IDEA!
“A Man too Old for a Place too Far.” Coming in 2017. I’m just not sure where it will be listed yet.