Yes, I know that “translates” to “Why are you, genre?”, but I still claim it makes sense …
Shut up (pouty look).
Seriously, though. How does one decide exactly what genre their story fits into? Do you just know? Do you know before you begin – making sure to include all the tropes of that genre? Do you do extensive market research, sharing your work with readers and asking their thoughts? Do you put it out there and see what label attracts the best reviews (on the notion that if you’re attracting the right readers, they’ll be more likely to like it)?
Yes, of course this come back to me … It’s all about me! (Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha … ah … ha!). Anyway.
Where was I? Right, yes, back to Healer’s Touch and the subsequent Weapons of War stories. I’ve been calling it a Steampunk story from the beginning. But I keep coming across people even more into the Steampunk genre (or sub-genre, if you like) than I, and I begin to feel like a bit of a fraud. Thing is, though, it is set in Victorian-like times (though on a Victorian New Zealand-like and Victorian US-like world). Wild West, if you like – I know I do (o: (But without guns … to start with anyway. They’re just so impersonal … How can you have a natter with your nemesis if you’re both aiming guns at each other? Really?)
My main man has a rather large tattoo, and I believe body-modification appears on the list of Steampunk thingies somewhere. A tattoo is pretty lame in that regard, but my antagonist wears a mechanical bracelet that allows him to perform magic … now we’re getting somewhere, huh? Yes. My antagonist is the key, really. He’s an inventor. He has a body modification – and I haven’t finished with him, either. And he’s an inventor, which I think is pretty key. I think that is where I need to put my Steampunk energies … I had intended for him to have a mechanical horse. Might get back to that idea.
I guess my “fear” of placing the label Steampunk on it, is that people will expect obvious Steampunk elements right from the start, where they don’t really get going until later in this first book. Subsequent books will be different. Is that OK, though?
This first book is also about getting the team together, including the central romance. So sometimes I feel that I need to put Romance as part of the description, but it is only a part of the story. A key part, because these characters will function better together than apart, and their journey to come together allows the politics of the world to be explored …
Well, thanks for letting me ramble.
If you’ve got a magic bullet for labeling your writing (or mine – yes please!), I’d love to discuss it!
I don’t have any blog give-aways to do. That would require having something you guys might want and the time/money to provide it. But I do like interaction. All I can promise is the automatic link back to your own blog that happens when you comment/like/whatever. So, feel free to do that.
Right, back to nutting out my upcoming plots.