Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Name That Genre! #35


The tall blonde TV reporter drove down from Atlanta to stand in front of a glop of tar on the beach and tell the world that the Gulf of Mexico was closed.

Like official word made any difference. Fishing had already petered out. Folks were scared of catching a mackerel full of oil. I’d stashed away eight hundred and seventy-eight dollars from my fish-cleaning business, but that wasn’t near enough to buy the boat I had my eye on.

No job, and six weeks of summer left. Some of the charter boat captains got contracts laying oil boom to keep the floating crude off shore, but they weren’t hiring fifteen-year-olds.

When Captain Butler limped into the harbor on that old wood yacht and offered to pay me to help clean her up, I though my luck had changed. I didn’t suspect I could be aiding and abetting.


  1. Contemporary.

    The subject matter being the oil contaminated beach(Exxon), and a fifteen year old being considered too young for work speaks of today's sensibilities.

  2. Contemporary

    I originally was thinking woman's fiction, but the age made me switch to contemporary.

  3. Contemporary

    I'm getting the vibe of a modern day Treasure Island.

  4. Contemporary

    The oil spill & a teenager needing to earn money to buy something they want.

  5. Contemporary Thriller

    The oil spill is very 'now' and the aiding and abetting comment speaks of trouble ahead


    With an environmental-themed twist. The reporter says "investigation" (even if she's not a main character) and obviously the last line says CRIME! :)

  7. Thriller or Mystery

    It just has that feeling of something more coming. Could be horror but I'm thinking it's more mystery.

  8. Mystery.

    I think the kid is a problem solver. He will want to "dodge" whatever he's aiding and abetting.

  9. Thriller -- due to the promise of aiding and abetting on the high seas.

  10. Thriller. Although it could easily go toward mystery or contemporary.

  11. Contemporary Thriller

    Contemporary because of the most recent oil spill, and thriller because of the aiding and abetting.

  12. Contemporary

    The reporter making the oil spill official was the first clue. But there is a hint of mystery in the words "aid and abetting." Perhaps it's an adventure pirate's tale?


    Everything seems real world and modern day with no hints of anything fantastical, so I'll say contemporary.

  14. Contemporary mystery. Very intriguing beginning. Good luck, Sarah

  15. Mystery

    Aiding and abetting are terms from criminal law. Contemporary setting with spill protection.

  16. Hmm, dystopian?

    A closed gulf. Fish full of oil. Could just be an oil spill, but it feels like one of those and "then all hell breaks loose" kind of storylines.

  17. Contemporary summer adventure, with a very mature protagonist if he's wanting to buy a boat and wouldn't mind working on an oil rig for the money. Technically there's no way to tell if the main character's a he, other than the subject matter, but that's my guess.

  18. Contemporary - news reporter.

    Without that element, it could have felt historic.


    It was the aiding and abetting thing that did it. Before that, I wasn't sure where the story was headed (though it was obviously modern).

    I didn't feel very grounded with this. Some things that distracted me:

    * Starting right off with "tall blonde TV reporter" felt cliche to me.

    * "glop of tar" did not make me think of an oil spill. Oil doesn't turn into tar, does it? I was distracted by this for the entire peice.

    * The last sentence of paragraph 2 was jarring to me. It jumps from grounding me to the situation into some personal goal of the MC, which I don't care about yet (I'm more worried about the oil spill at the moment).

    * I didn't know what "laying oil boom" meant. It feels like a typo (though it's probably just a term I don't know).

  20. Contemporary/mystery/thriller - it could be any and all of those.

  21. Contemporary

    Clearly a real-world setting with no paranormal hints popping up.

  22. Contemporary Thriller

    Very contemporary setting for the relatively recent oil spill, coupled with the reference to aiding and abetting.

  23. Mystery/Suspense

    It looks like our MC is going to be caught up in an environmental crime of some sort.

  24. Contemporary.
    Unless the reporter will go on to be at least a minor character, we don't need to know where she drove from. If she's a throwaway character, get past her as fast as possible.

  25. Contemporary, possibly contemporary mystery.

    TV reporter, and the Gulf of Mexico oil spill (which did cough up tar balls on the beach), and oil booms all point to contemporary.

  26. Mystery!

    Thank you, Authoress, for an engaging jaunt into genre land. I'm so grateful to all of you who contributed guesses and shared your perspective on the development of this contemporary world. It's so helpful to see the story--even a tiny snippet--through the eyes of the reader.

    Cheers to my fellow writers!
    Chris Bailey