Genres can be one of the most confining decisions. It can come first, last or somewhere in the middle.
As much as understanding that the genre you’re writing in, can possibly have a huge impact on the sort of expectations a reader comes in with, or the length of a story.
It can have little to no impact, or can be exceptionally powerful. Such as subverting genre expectations in a good way.
But picking a genre can be difficult, and deciding where it fits can make you go back and forth. Here to me, are some ways that you can choose your genre.
The elements that are in your story can help you decide. How is the story progressing, or how present are certain elements. The lines between genres are getting blurrier with many choosing to have a myriad of them.
But there should be some guidelines depending on how prevalent it is, or how much it is used in the story. I don’t really call my story fantasy yet, simply because the more fantastical elements simply haven’t came out yet. And why I mostly stick to alternative and mystery, since there is an awful lot of suspense.
Whether the main point of the story is mainly a romance, or is it telling an epic rolled into one. Plot is the main way many tell how it fits into a genre.
But most importantly is finding a label which suits your story best, and not the other way around.
Sometimes the setting can be really important. Whether it is set in reality or the realm of fantasy. Whether is it modern or historical.
You certainly won’t expect a story set almost a hundred years ago to have the same sort of language. Because language evolves. And the further you go, the less documentation there is.
Or in the future. There can be similarities but the world would be vastly different. The backdrop and the sort of elements whcij influenced them can also be really important in deciding on what genre you would settle for.
A setting can help you place it, but at the end of the day the main focus should be on the plot and story elements.
These two me should be the main two factors when choosing your genre.