I found one definition: “Chick lit is genre fiction within women’s fiction which addresses issues of modern women often humorously and lightheartedly.” Wikipedia
If I go by this definition, I’m definitely NOT writing a chick lit novel. There is very little humor and it’s the absolute opposite of lighthearted.
Now, I’m stymied. What genre does my novel fit into. It’s very emotional, tragic, and at times suspenseful. It boils down to this: it’s a story about loss and the different ways we deal or don’t deal with it.
When I asked my CP to describe my writing in one sentence, this is what she said:
Missy’s writing is strong with fleshed out details and characters boasting both tenderness and tension to enlighten and engage.
(Sidenote: I plan to use that on my website, which is in the design stages at the moment and will be unveiled soon.)
Rachelle Gardener wrote Identify Your Novel’s Genre and I took her advice. I looked up a book whose readers would probably like mine. Folks on Amazon labeled it as chick-lit. Huh? I thought chick-lit was lighthearted and humorous.
Next, I looked at a list of genres and crossed off the ones that I KNOW my work doesn’t fit within. For example:
- Commercial Fiction is usually plot driven and my WIP is more character driven.
- Literary Fiction is character driven, but I don’t think I have a lyrical writing style.
- Crime has elements to it that you find in my novel, but that isn’t the focus.
- Fantasy. Well, I haven’t created any faraway places, mystical lands or fictional creatures
- Historical Fiction. While the setting is 2010 with flashbacks to 1987, it doesn’t have any other characteristics for that genre.
- Horror. Nope.
- Science Fiction. As with Fantasy I’ve not used any technologies to further my story.
I’ve considered using the term thriller to describe my book. There are threats and life and death situations; it never occurred to me that I could write a thriller/suspense novel. There is a bit of mystery. Maybe I could define it as a mystery thriller women’s fiction novel.
How would you define a novel that wrings emotion out of you?