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Thursday, January 1


Different genres have different styles, expectations, and even word counts, and it can even be helpful to know where your novel fits before you even stat writing the first draft. Here are some articles that discuss the various genres and how they might apply to your novel.

A sampling of articles on genre

See all articles on genre


  1. If a story centers around a teenage girl as the main character, does that automatically mean literary agents would want to view the novel as only appropriate for YA or marketed as such? I suppose I'm having a bit of trouble determining precisely who my 'target audience is.' I've tried write a story that will appeal to both genders, as well.

    1. No, age is only one factor in determining which market a book is for. A YA novel has a teen protagonist, plus a plot that deals with teen issues in a teen-centric way, and has a teen voice. It's also a book written *for* the teen audience. For example, Stephen King often has young protagonists, but his work is not aimed at teens or consider YA.

      While everyone wants their book to appeal to "all ages" the reality is that what appeals to a 14 year old doesn't typically appeal to a 54 year old. Adults DO read YA, but they read it because they want the YA experience, not because they want adult stories with teen protagonists.

      Great stories appeal to both genders, so unless you're targeting one gender over the other, or a genre that's gender-heavy (say romance, for example, though men do read it) you should be fine there.

      You'd have to decide for yourself who you want to write the book for. It doesn't have to be super specific, but there's a difference in how an MG novel vs a YA vs an NA vs an Adult novel is written. The focus and how the problems are solved is different. And if you write genre, then there are further breakdowns to consider, as genres have tropes as well.

      You might start with thinking about who you *want* to write for, then try thinking about where you'd see this book in the bookstore, or what other books are similar and go from there.

      I did a few posts on this topic that might help. There's also a section on choosing your market and genre in my writing book, Planning Your Novel: Ideas and Structure, that isn't on the site.

      Writing For Your Audience:

      Writing For Your Reader:

      Hope this helps!