Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Name That Genre! #15

TITLE: Adult
GENRE: Secret

I hate boys’ games.

“Run!” I yell to Pam. “They’re right behind you.”

She dodges the boys, races past Mommy’s vegetable garden, and heads toward the maple tree in her backyard. If she touches the trunk, we win, and the boys will finally have to keep their promise to play house with us.

I kneel behind the shrub. My side aches with each deep breath. Using the hem of my shirt, I wipe sweat off my forehead.

Steve sneaks behind Pam and drops the hula-hoop lasso over her head. She kicks and screams as her brother drags her to the cave, the cinderblock barbeque pit in my backyard, and rolls a pretend stone in front of the cave door.

Pam beats on the rock. “I can’t escape. They’re going to eat me.”

Hula-hoop in hand, Steve turns toward my hiding place. “I’m coming to get you.”

“No!” I race toward the tree.


  1. I'm slightly confused first off because it doesn't sound like an Adult novel. It sounds like MG, unless it evolves over time?

    I'm just going to say realistic fiction?

  2. I can't tell.

    This opening with the stated age category really confuses me. It doesn't read like an adult novel.

  3. I can't tell

    This could go anywhere, I too thought it was for a younger audience

  4. Being that this is the opening for an adult story, my guess is that something happens so this could go in the mystery/thriller direction or be contemplative/contemporary. I guess it all depends on what happens in the present day of the story.

  5. This snippet is clearly MG. Perhaps it is a prologue to an adult novel? I really can't tell.

  6. Unknown.

    Agree with above...probably a prelude to adult lit..

    Love the line about the BBQ pit as a pretend cave.

  7. Uncertain...

    Starting with kids in the scene, it points towards a flashback. The Hula Hoop is perhaps a clue to its heyday decades--the 60's and 70's.

  8. I'm guessing Women's Fiction since the story's listed as Adult, but we start in a child's POV. I'm guessing something happens here which affects the rest of the mc's life.

  9. Don't know

    It felt like MG to me, so my first guess is that something happens that is too heavy for MG. Perhaps one of the children dies or is kidnapped and it is about how the parents deal with the tragedy. It could also be flashback. The hula hoop does date the time period.

  10. Contemporary, I guess. I agree with all the above comments, but I do think this would be a fine start to a MG story. Good luck, Sarah

  11. Women's fiction.

    Opening with a flashback.

  12. Contemporary Romance.

    With a *prologue*. Bad, bad, BAD idea. And I say contemporary romance over women's fiction because I feel like the prologue is setting up a 'I'm falling for the boy next door/my best friend's brother' thing.

  13. Contemporary. I agree with the other comments - if this is an adult main character you should start with an adult point of view. I was also confused.

  14. Flashback before the main story, so no real way to tell. At a guess I'd say contemporary women's lit just because of the first line - could be a prelude to the fact that boys always play games, at every age.

    Plus the idea of forcing the boys to "play house with us" by winning a physically competitive game in which the girls don't necessarily have the edge - a game in which a girl is put into a cave, caveman style. Prelude to trying to manage a marriage ideal. But I had to really read it a few times to catch that part.

    I'm going to disagree with the general consensus, though, because I don't necessarily think that the flashback kills the hook.

  15. Contemporary Drama?

    I really have no idea. Just the because the MC is a child, doesn't mean this is a flashback, though it's rare to have a kid protagonist in a book meant for adults. But I am getting a Butterfly Effect thing. That maybe she's reliving this moment because it's significant to the present somehow.

  16. I can't tell.
    I'm confused, is it a flashback?

  17. Women's Fiction?

    This reads like MG historical to me (set in the 70's maybe?)The protagonist is young and the voice is young (not that of an adult remembering her childhood). But we are told it's for adults. All I can think of is that this is a flash back that is somehow important to the protagonis t of the story and that we will soon be in her adult POV. If I'm right, you might consider starting in the adult POV and save the flashback for later.

  18. Woman's fiction. With a flashback. Hard tell this early. Some genres evolve more slowly.

  19. I can't tell. At all.

    The "adult" age group really threw me.

  20. I CAN'T TELL

    Like others, the age threw me. I assume this is a flashback or prologue of some sort? Even with that, though, I can't tell what the ultimate genre is going to be. There's no foreshadowing of fantasy, but it doesn't feel like any contemporary novel I've ever read either.

    If it is a flashback in an adult novel, maybe write it more like the protagonist is looking back on it? It would require past tense instead of present, and some grown-up commentary inserted into the scene, as though it were a memory.

    Yeah, the more I think about it, the more the first person present tense says to me that this isn't a flashback, which means this doesn't feel adult at all no matter where it goes from here :-/

  21. I CAN'T TELL.
    My first thought was prologue to women's fiction but then I looked back and realized I couldn't back that up. I think I feel a sense of something bad about to happen, but still it could lead any number of places.

  22. Women's fiction

    Because the category says adult and I'm guessing this is the prologue

  23. Historical.

    Kids played outside like this in the fifties. That's how it read to me.

  24. I can't tell.

    The kids playing and the Adult overall category listed have me at a loss.

  25. contemporary

    guessing this starts with a flashback of some kind (has kind of a 50-70's feel with hula-hoop and playing house) and then we'll move into a current timeframe

  26. I don't know.

    Best guess is either women's fiction or some genre of romance given the flashback. The present tense use in a flashback confused me probably more than it should have.

  27. I can't tell

    It's supposed to be adult fiction but the character's are children, and it's written in a MG tone. Even if it's an adult looking back, use adult language (except for maybe the dialogue) to fit with an adult audience.


    Since it's labeled Adult but told from the POV of a child, I think it's either a flashback or a prologue. There's no hint of mystery or fantasy or sci-fi. It seems like it will focus on the same character as an adult. And since it doesn't have the light-hearted or snarky tone of chick lit, I'm going with WF.

  29. Women's Fiction

    The child POV from a girl but without any foreshadowing of suspense or danger. The whole game of the girls trying to get the boys to play house and them dragging Pam back to their cave seems like it could be a parallel for dating as an adult.

  30. Category - Women's Fiction

    It starts with a child's point of view because the abuse begins when child is seven - had I been able to put in about four hundred more words, the abuse would have occurred. The story is a healing journey from incest and other abuse.