I'm working on my final revisions on my novel, MIND THIEF. I had a slight problem, I didn't know what genre it fell into.
Last week two people pointed out the genres to me.
Commenting on my query Shakespeare said:
I haven't read the book, but is the tone of the book similar to the tone of the query? It should read like it, so that the agent/publisher can get a sense of the tone, too. The query spends a lot of time setting up these two characters... but then it says "The only way he can survive..." and I don't understand what he is surviving. Is it just these latent memories? Or are they a sign of something bigger and more dangerous going on? I'm not sure what the main conflict is, the main arc of what the book is dealing with. I get the characters pretty strongly, though.
Also I have people critiquing it at Scribophile and a critiquer pointed out:
The plot therefore has two paths. One is a romance and the other may be suspense or a thriller. The conflict seemed reserved for the latter. There is a different style in each which seems appropriate.
So now it's obvious, my book has two genres. I just have to make sure it fits the genres, so I just need to look at the tone of the two.
With romance the main focus is on the characters, about 80% with the remaining 20% focusing on the action that takes place around them.
With a thriller the main focus is on the action, about 80% with the remaining 20% focusing on the characters.
All I need to do is combine these two tones and have it be 100% about the characters, and 100% be about the action. Simple.
Or I could look outside of writing at another artform: dance.
Two legends of dancing were Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers.
Ginger Rodgers had it easy, all she had to do was everything Fred Astaire did, only backwards and in high heels.
So all I have to do is look at my book backwards and in high heels. Unfortunately I can't find any high heels that fit me and none of my wife's evening gowns fit. So I'll have to try it in a tight pink mini skirt, fishnet stockings, a see through blouse, and peek-a-boo bra.
Here is my new query backwards:
Howie has a problem: Someone is stealing his mind, and the only one who can help him is a girl who has already lost hers.
You're not paranoid if everyone is out to get you. A hundred years of memories flood Howie's mind. Evil memories of starting five major wars and killing everyone who has ever wanted humanity to progress. At the same time his friends and his professor are telling him, and sometimes threatening him, to stay away from Vivian, the girl he met at his psychologist office.
Either Howie is going crazy, or there is a single man that has caused the most horrific events over the last century, and all his friends and professors work for him. In order to survive, Howie must do what Archduke Ferdinand, FDR, Stalin, JFK, and Saddam Hussein all failed to do. He must stop the man who has caused the deaths of hundred of millions, and do it armed only with his love of Vivian.
MIND THIEF is my completed 95,000 word thriller.
Now I just have to merge the two queries, the one for a Romance novel and the one for a thriller and I'll have one that matches the tone of the book. No Problem.
Thanks again to all the people who have critiqued this to help me sort out the right tone and feel for the book.