I didn’t know which genre ‘The FYP’ belonged in for a long time until I did a google search for romance and suspense. Lo and behold, there’s a genre for Romantic Suspense and Google tells me it’s difficult to hit the mark in this genre. It’s a genre for books whereby characters focus both on building relationships and solving a mystery. It should have all the elements of a romance novel and a suspense novel.
What does the genre of Romance require?
- primary focus is on the love between two characters.
- the conflict that arises must test that love.
- happy ending.
What does the genre of Suspense require?
- main character has to be in danger.
- foreshadowing is a must, in my opinion.
- red herrings are important.
- the reader has to be made aware of impending doom but must be kept on the edge of the seat unsure when the bomb is going to go off.
- that bomb better go off. If the threat of danger is contained all too easily, ESPECIALLY BECAUSE OF A COINCIDENCE, the reader will be sorely disappointed and no writer wants to do that. Don’t do that.
So basically, these are the basic requirements.
And that’s what makes the genre difficult. Trying to build a love story is difficult as it is when you think about all the others things that come into play. The hero and heroine require traits, characteristics, goals that not only bring them together but also bring them apart. In addition to that, they need to have traits, characteristics, goals, reasons, to solve the underlying mystery. And the love story has to progress with the mystery. Sounds simple.
Maybe one such story: Probably get two characters together, but a crime/occurrence/event makes them suspicious of each other but aha! The villain is someone else and their love story has a happy ending. It only sounds simple. But most of the challenge lies not in building the love story or introducing the conflict. Most of the issue lies with introducing the villain. When? Who? Why? How? What are the breadcrumbs? How are you going to do the foreshadowing? In who’s viewpoint is the story written? If it was done in third-person objective, the readers will be aware of all the shit that’s about to go down and they’re kept on the edge of their seat waiting for the main character to become aware of it.
I can’t do that with my book. Why? It’s written in first person. I had a lot of issues with foreshadowing in The FYP simple because my book’s point of view is in first person of Om, the main character. The readers hence don’t know the turmoil that’s happening since Om himself isn’t aware of it. All Om and the readers know are the bread crumbs. I can’t make the bread crumbs too obvious or too obscure either but I have to ensure that the readers know that some shit is going down and keep them interested.
I chose a hard genre and then I chose a bad view point.
It was difficult. But I do have a reason why I stuck to Om’s viewpoint. And it has to be that way.
Now, for the question, does ‘The FYP’ meet the basic requirements of both genre? Yes. But I guess the real question is how well does it meet them. Hmmmm.
My beta readers give me the thumbs up.
I give myself the thumbs up. Hah.