This is hard for me to write. Why? Because I hate failure. I take it personally if I fail and it takes me a while to get my self esteem back after failing at something. However, I recently failed. I received a rejection for my newest short story. It hurt, and as I read the e-mail, I sat in my chair trying not to cry. Yes, I’m a cry baby.
I spent that whole night sulking, feeling miserable and allowing myself a moment of self pity. Not that this was my first rejection, as Intimate Healing was submitted to five publishers all on the same night and only a few of them liked the story. However, with IH, the rejections only came after I signed a contract on it, so they really didn’t hurt.
The morning after the rejection, I decided to see what exactly was wrong with the story. You’ll be surprised at the issues I found. One of the major problems was the genre. I submitted the story as a paranormal romance with erotic elements. Why? Because the heroine is a shape-shifting werecat. Are there any other paranormal elements to the book? Nope! Actually, the hero is a doctor and scientist who is searching for the perfect cure and he works in a lab that secretly conducts illegal experiments on various living things (the hero doesn’t know much about those experiments though). That really doesn’t sound paranormal. If anything, it has science written all over it. But sci-fi? Really? I don’t really know much about that genre, how could it be that my book accidently falls into that category? I continued looking though my story, and the first half the plot is littered with sex scenes. So that would make it into an erotica. But wait, the sex dries up in the middle and the rest is filled with secrets, hiding out, exploding buildings. Sounds like a thriller now. Ultimately, the only consistency in the story is that it falls into the romance category and stays there. So I can see why it was rejected. It’s kind of hard to market a book that can’t decide what genre it wants to be. And with all the genre mash-ups, the plot never fully got written the way it was intended to.
I have high hopes for this story and I’m not one to give up easily, so now I plan to rewrite it. However, I’ll do some research before I type another word. I need to figure out which sub-genre fits this story best and stick to it. Then I could develop the story for there, without bouncing to another genre.
To writers: Do you ever plan to write something in one genre only to realize upon completion that it falls into another?
To readers: Do you enjoy reading books that fall into multiple genres?