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Dan Goodman's prediction and politics journal.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

How to Tell What You've Written

-"Help. I don't know what category the novel I'm writing falls into!"-

Here are some tips which I hope are useful.

Assume a story in which it's learned that there are Neanderthalers living in the mountains of Louisiana. They have abilities which Homo sapiens doesn't have.

If the abilities are described in pseudoscientific terms, then this is either science fiction or techno-thriller.

It's a techno-thriller for sure if 1) the Neanderthalers are a threat to the world and 2) only one person or a small group stand between this danger and the human race.

If the abilities are described as magical, the Neanderthalers are Evil, and horrible things happening to characters are described in loving detail, the story is horror. (Unless the Neanderthalers have spaceships; anything with spaceships in it is science fiction.)

If the abilities are described as magical, the Neanderthalers are Good and Wise, and wonderful things happening to characters are described in detail, the story is New Age.

If the abilities are described as Satanic, the Neanderthalers are Evil, and only a small group of Real Christians stand between this danger and the human race, it's Christian fiction.

However: If the story's emphasis is on a romantic/sexual relationship between the two main characters, it is either romance or erotica. (If the relationship is between more than two characters, and what they do with each other is described in more detail than anything else in the story, it's definitely erotica.)
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