Categories > Original > Essay > Reasons I Will Not Give Your Story a Chance

Genres and Tags

by HatedLove6 0 reviews

Genres and tags.

Category: Essay - Rating: G - Genres: Humor - Published: 2022-09-25 - 759 words - Complete

You Have Mistagged Your Story or Your Story is Under the Wrong Category or Genre.

This is basically just false advertising. If your story doesn't have sex scenes or isn't focusing on LGBTQA couples or isn't actually sci-fi even if time travel is a part of your story, and you tag it as such or you put your story under one of those categories or genres when your story isn't, you're going to let down a lot of potential readers who are looking for mature-themed stories or LGBTQA romance or sci-fi stories.

I remember on Quizilla, people would often put in the summary "no lemons" or "not a lemon" ("lemon" being a code word for "sex scene"), and yet, even when people searched for just "lemon" it would still pop up in the list. Why? Because you put "lemon" in the summary, even though your story didn't actually have a lemon, and even though you clearly stated, "not a lemon." Why bother stating that? If your story doesn't have any sex scenes, then it doesn't. There's no need to tell people what it doesn't have.

As for categories and genres, I get it. It can get confusing. There is a difference between fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, horror, and science fiction, along with comedy and parody, and even romance and erotica. There is a subtle difference but that subtlety is key when it comes to putting your story in the right place. Often times stories straddle different genres and categories. That's fine, but for the sake of searching, choose the main genre, and then choose a sub-genre, if it applies. Just two. If there is one other genre that fits, and I don't mean that there is just this one thing that is typical of this genre (like time travel in sci-fi), then you can put that genre into the tags. More than three genres or categories make it seem like you're trying to hoard readers by trying to make your story seem like something it isn't.

There's one other common tag that gets misused often, and that's "OC" (Original Characters) and "Reader." There's also FC (Fan Characters) but that acronym isn't used at all often. OC and Reader or Reader-Inserts are not interchangeable. OC means to fully develop the character and give them their own identity by giving them a name, description of how they look and dress, hobbies, secrets, and all, but it also indicates that the story isn't interactive or doesn't break the fourth wall by getting the readers involved into the story. Readers, also called Reader-Inserts, can be a lot like OCs, however, the biggest difference is that it is often written in second-person. Instead of using he, she, it, or I to indicate the main character, the word, you, is used. In some cases the story is generally written in third-person, but "you" is still used when the main role is brought up. For example:

While Joe was at work, he thought of you.

Or something like that.

Typically the Reader doesn't have a name at all, even in professionally published Choose Your Own Adventure books, but there can be exceptions. In R. L. Stine's The Knight in the Screaming Armor, the main role didn't have a first name, but he was referred to by a last name. However, at least online, in any Reader-Insert stories, CYOA, Who Would You Fall For (WWYFF), Who Would Fall For You (WWFFY), or otherwise most people either use descriptive parenthesis, such as Haley, (Name) or (First Name) or just use underscores _____ or hyphens or em-dash ——— to show a blank space to indicate that your name should be filled in there.

The Reader also isn't usually described, but I think there could be exceptions to this, especially if the story is purposefully interactive, such as in CYOA. I love dating simulation games, especially on the computer, and for those games, they either let you create an avatar, or they let you manipulate an already established character, name, description, and almost everything else. For those people who like to create interactive games, but prefer text-based, I don't mind manipulating an established character, but it might be better if the story was written in third-person. For example, when you get to the part where the reader gets to make a choice, either in personality or in pathways, you could put something like, "If you were this character, what would you do?"

So, in short, make sure you know the differences in genres, OCs, and Readers, and don't put in any useless tags.
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