Authors become known for their genres. Don’t believe me? Stephen King. What did you think about when I mentioned that name? Thought so. How do you pick one? What resonates with you? Where does your knowledge lie?
Here’s a fun quiz (created by Taryn – That Girl With The Green Pen) that might help you to choose YOUR genre!
1) You are on a walk by a park where a girls’ soccer game is going on. One teen looks extremely worried. Why?
A. This game determines if an otherwise needy senior will get an athletic scholarship to the college of her dreams
B. Her sister disappeared last night, and the kidnapper was the serial rapist/murderer in the area.
C. Her sister disappeared last night, and the kidnappers were faeries needing a Changeling.
D. She’s never played, let alone heard of, soccer before because she is from a world of wizards and dragons and quests.
E. The government is watching her.
2) Two young women walk by you. One holds an intricate golden ring in her hand, and they both are staring at it with apprehension. Why?
A. They’re trying to decide whether to accept the the first girl’s boyfriend’s proposal. It’s a beautiful, sentimental, valuable ring, but he cheated on her once last year.
B. They’re being blackmailed, and this ring, stolen years ago from a visiting dignitary thus nearly sparking a war, is the source. Is turning themselves in safer?
C. They’ve been told its wearer becomes immortal.
D. It is the One Ring, of course! Instead of Lord of the Rings, it shall be Lady of the Rings . . .
E. It’s a forbidden relic from a time long past, and they’ll be killed if seen with it. Frankly, you’re surprised they’re still alive since government surveillance is everywhere.
3) It’s 8 PM, and you’re herding your family toward the exit at Disneyland. There’s a teenage girl standing against a wall, obviously near tears. Why?
A. Her family left her.
B. She just escaped from a kidnapper and she’s panicked he’ll find her again.
C. Her vampire/angel/weremickey boyfriend dumped her.
D. Disneyland? I only know Middle-Earth.
E. The government found out she’s been dating an Other and cut off her credits, so she can’t catch a bus home.
4) Your flight home was delayed. Why?
A. An old man had a heart attack and, stand back! You’re the only one who knows CPR!
C. The engines will mysteriously no longer work. Probably a golem in the gears. (*Bonus pts to whoever gets what title/author I just referenced.*)
D. Darn dragon needs to eat again.
E. Someone tried to cross the border. Again. Don’t they know no one has immigrated in a century?
5) You crashed your dad’s car. What’s gonna happen to you?
A. He’ll take away your laptop and your cell phone and make you get a JOB! Then you’ll have to hang out with the cute but weird guy at the theatre.
B. As soon as he realizes you crashed trying to get away from a couple assassins, he’ll understand!
C. You’ll have your wizard boyfriend whip up another one, and he’ll never find out.
D. If car means horse, you’ll have to capture another one from the wild river horses southwest, probably getting yourself killed in the process.
E. Forget Dad! What about the government? Accidents are an Offense!
6) Your sister broke her ankle in the middle of nowhere. What do you do?
A. Give her a piggyback and start walking. Maybe this will prove you’re more than ordinary.
B. Pull her up a tree to hide from the man following you and hope your best friend will figure out your coded message in time.
C. Darn. You’ll have to unmask your secret telepathic skills to summon EMS. Oh well. She’s worth it.
D. Stick her on the back of the wagon and pull it yourself. Good thing the hours plowing Dad’s field paid off.
E. Activate the emergency signal embedded in your palm at birth.
7) Your enemy gets something you really wanted. What was it and why are you so pissed?
A. A part in the school play. She’ll ruin it! She’ll make the whole show about her!
B. He kidnapped my mother! How can I not be pissed? I HAVE TO GET HER BACK!!!
C. She’s dating the new boy in school, who may or may not be a weremickey, and if she’s with him, I can’t snoop to find out the truth because she’ll think I’m jealous which I totally am not, because that boy gives me the heebiejeebies even though he’s way hot.
D. He has the Ring of Doom! In his hands, we will all perish!
E. She has proof that I’m a Rebel, and if the government finds out, I’ll Disappear!
8) A person of the opposite gender whom you barely know saves your life. What’s going to happen next?
A. S/he’ll transfer to your school and cause you to rethink everything you’ve ever thought about your clique’s bullying/vanity/inferiority complex.
B. S/he’ll try to murder you b/c you’re getting too close to finding out the illegal truth about his/her past/drug ring/family.
C. You’ll find out s/he’s a vampire/angel/weremickey, and the two of you will fall in love.
D. You’ll embark on an epic quest to defeat the villain, rescue the Very Important Thing, and battle your inner demons.
E. You will realize something about the too-powerful government and decide it must be overthrown.
Mostly A’s: You are a contemporary writer! There’s something to be said for real life and shoes the readers can easily fill.
Mostly B’s: You are a thriller writer! This genre is underrepresented in YA, so good luck filling that void!
Mostly C’s: You are a paranormal romance writer! Some people may say your MS is just another Twilight, but you know better.
Mostly D’s: You are an epic fantasy writer! Your world-building astounds us, and we love getting lost in your magic.
Mostly E’s: You are a dystopian writer! Ignore the nay-sayers who think there are too many–there’s always room for a great novel that makes us stay up too late wondering will that be our future.