Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Name That Genre! #17

GENRE: Secret

Lily Evans never really believed in wishes.

But that didn’t mean that she and Luke, her twin brother who was older by 20 minutes, wouldn’t attend a friend’s birthday party—where wishes of the highest hopes were made when the lucky girl or boy blew out the candles on the cake.

Besides, this gave them the chance to scope out ideas for their own birthday party, due to happen in a month on the third weekend in June.

Even as Lily watched the old magician pull a second fluffy white rabbit out of his top hat, she knew Mai Tanaka’s 13th birthday party would be the same as all the other ones.

Pink and purple balloons and streamers prettied up the drab concrete basement, and nearly 30 kids sat on all kinds of chairs—plastic ones, wooden ones and a few piles of cushions.


  1. Unfortunately I don't know.
    Nothing particularly stands out about this opening to give any special characteristics for a certain genre. Sorry :(

  2. Fantasy

    Because this party is the same as all the other ones, I'm expecting the twins to have something out of the ordinary

  3. Contemporary

    I'm a little unsure about this guess because this opening sets up a reversal of some sort but it reads like a pair of twins going to a regular birthday party.

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  5. I agree with Patchi. I think it's fantasy. She's never believed in magic, so I think something magical will happen.

  6. I can't tell

    Perhaps the wish will be of the fantasy variety or maybe it is something always hoped for

  7. Fantasy

    I'm guessing this either Contemporary (Urban) Fantasy or Magic Realism because it starts out with the MC not believing in wishes, with the definite hint that wishes could have power. Then there's the magician doing his cheap non magical tricks, supposedly confirming the MC's belief that magic doesn't exist.

  8. Sounds contemporary.

    There's a lot of telling here. She wouldn't think of her brother as being "older by 20 minutes" (she already knows this). Same thing about her birthday. She knows when this is and has no reason to tell the reader here.

    There are a few things in here that don't mesh with the age. First, would she know that a basement is concrete at 12? And would she use the word "drab" and the expression "the highest hopes"? Also, why would a 13-year-old have a magician and pink balloons at her party? This sounds like something for a 6-year-old. Is her friend particularly childish? Are the kids all bored/annoyed at the parent who planned this party?

    Finally, I like your first line, but it would be stronger if you said she didn't believe in making wishes or that she didn't believe wishes ever came true. As written, it sounds like she doesn't believe people can actually make them.

    Good luck!

  9. Contemporary--

    "Wishes" suggests a Fantasy element, possibly, but it also is a strong symbol of childhood.
    Balloons, and the plastic and wooden chairs, pulls us into a modern setting.

  10. I'm going with fantasy because of the opening line about not believing in wishes and the mention of the magician at the party.

  11. Contemporary.

    The first line made me think magical realism or fantasy, but I believed Lily's bored response, "the same as all the other ones." Which made me think the story problem is not going to be what to do with a thousand white rabbits--but what kind of birthday party will top the SOSO.

  12. contemporary.

    Be careful with the voice. This comes across as very adult with the formal word choices "lucky boy or girl", "due to happen", "third weekend in June", "drab concrete basement."

  13. Contemporary/Adventure

    Doesn't have a magical feel. There's a lot of set up and it's holding us away from the story so it really could be anything, but that's what I'm going with. It's giving me a "the summer I grew up" feel.

  14. Urban fantasy. Never believing in wishes seems like the gun in the first act. Be careful with that character name, though. Lily Evans is Harry Potter's mother so it's not something you want people to google when they're looking for your book. It threw me off for a second. Also didn't realize it was MG at first. The main character has an overwhelming sense of ennui, and refers to other people as kids, which gives me the sense that she doesn't identify with their age group.

  15. Contemporary. Nothing stands out that makes me think anything different, although it wouldn't surprise me if this turns out to be fantasy.

  16. Fantasy. Just guessing because of the comment about wishes, so my guess is that wishes will become magic.

  17. Fantasy?

    Mostly based on the MC being a nonbeliever, and everything so far has had to do with wishes or magicians.


    Based on not believing in wishes. If I'm right, then this is nice and subtle (the magician is a nice touch too, if so).

    I felt like the second paragraph was a bit chunky. I had to read it slowly to figure it all out. Otherwise I liked this.

    Because it sounds to me like the setup is a wish of hers will come true, maybe with dire consequences. But the voice sounds older, yet the party sounds childish so there is some disconnect there for me.

  20. Can't Tell

    Might be fantasy, if the wishes tie into magic. Might be contemporary coming of age, because of the emphasis on birthdays.

  21. Can't tell.

    It sounds contemporary, like any kids birthday party in the basement. But I suspect there might be more to the birthday wish and magician than is at first apparent. Perhaps the use of 'Lily Evans', aka Harry Potter's mom's maiden name is meant to be a clue?

  22. Contemporary Fantasy

    The birthday party seems contemporary, but it's hinted that wishes will come into play at some point by the opening line.

  23. Fantasy

    The emphasis seems to be on the wishes. I'm guessing the twins' wishes are going to come true and take them on an adventure.


    The birthday party setting seems modern, and I think the mention of wishes in the first line is there to give a hint of fantasy ahead.

  25. My genre is FANTASY.

    Thanks to all for their insightful feedback and pointing out the stuff that's wonky!