Need help deciding genre!


Sorry in advance for the super long post. Just read the first paragraph, look at the picture and the bullet points then skip to the end if you don’t feel like reading my rambling!

Okay, so I first published this story maybe 6 weeks ago? And I originally put it in the Romance category because that’s a pretty big theme in the story and the Mystery element only really comes later. I kind of wanted to market it as a romance to make the mystery more… well, mysterious. But I don’t really know if this is working out for me. I’m worried about attracting the wrong readership and, more importantly, not attracting the right readership. For example, someone searching for a pretty simple high school romance as my story might seem on first glance, might then not be interested and stop reading once they hit the mystery element. And people who would be super interested in this element may not originally decide to check out my story, thinking that it’s just a romance.

I had this concern a while ago and changed my description. Here’s the original and the revised:

Original: Violet gave up a life of petty crime and way too much black leather over a year ago. New bad boy Carter can’t seem to resist trying to uncover her dark past. Is she truly reformed?

Revised: Reformed bad girl falls for bad boy who reminds her of her past - cliché, right? But what if Violet isn’t truly reformed? What if she’s secretly still badder than Carter ever was?

Here’s my cover. As you can see, it doesn’t really look like a romance from the cover. Don’t know if you can tell (please let me know if you can’t) but both of those girls are Violet - one in the current day, one in the past.


I would say once you hit Episode 12 it’s 50/50 romance/mystery and I wish writers could categorise their stories as more than one genre on Episode but we can’t. So I need to decide on one.

Another factor that’s influencing me currently… how much more difficult it is to really get your story noticed in the romance category. This is all starting to sound really shallow - like I’m in it just for the readers? But I think it’s normal to want your story to reach people, especially the people you feel it’s meant for.

A bit more background info without giving too much away:

  • The mystery/action element kind of begins with flashbacks to Violet’s past self… y’know guns 'n stuff. And also mysterious phone calls in the present day which indicate that something more than a romance is going on in this story.

  • The meaning and significance of all this is then revealed in Episode 12 and from then on, the story follows a very different path. The romance is more a side effect of the main plot, as in they compliment each other. But Violet and her story aren’t driven by her romance with Carter, they’re driven by this other mysterious element.

So I’m gonna set up a poll, but I’d also be really interested in anyone’s reasoning or thoughts on the story in general so feel free to comment below. Feel free to check the story out (I feel it would be a wasted opportunity if I didn’t just slip the link in here: Reformed )

  • Romance
  • Mystery

0 voters

Thank you! Xx


Oh, and! I don’t know if tapping on my story and expecting a deep, intricate mystery and being faced with a little high school romance would dissuade most mystery readers??

So… mystery readers, hit me up with your thoughts.

Thanks! Xx


I’m a huge mystery reader. It’s one of the only things that I read. For me, masking the mystery as a little high school romance is really clever. It almost gives it a sort of twisted vibe. I’m certainly gonna check it out. Going to read it right now, actually.


Aw I’m so glad to hear that and thank you so much! Don’t praise me yet though… you’ll have to let me know if there’s enough mystery at this stage to really hook you.

I’m also thinking of throwing in an action/mystery scene as the very first scene in Episode 1 to up the mystery element from the start. Episode 1 in general needs a lot of work so I think this is somewhere my reader retention may also be suffering.

Let me know your thoughts on all that. Thanks again!



I think an action/mystery scene in the beginning of Episode 1 would be really helpful, especially for people who are looking for that in your story. I just read it, and I also may suggest that maybe you should signify the movement of time differently? Since there was a skip between looking in the past and then the present, and I didn’t catch that until things from the present was beginning to be spoken about. It might just be me being a little dull, though. ^^"
I also apologize if I’m seeming harsh or giving input that you don’t really want, by the way.


No, don’t apologise, that’s really helpful thanks! I’m guessing it doesn’t seem like there’s enough mystery at this point to categorise it that way?


For the first chapter, maybe not. It does somewhat have a sort of mystery, but it’s very brief. I haven’t yet checked the other chapters, so I’m unsure if the story as a whole is able to be categorized that way.


Okay thank you!! I’ll have a rethink of… everything :joy:



I know this wasn’t your question, but I just got to say I like your original description more :shushing_face:


Aw seriously… man, the agony I went through changing it :joy::weary:
The poll on my Instagram was close but the second came out a winner sooooo :woman_shrugging:t4:

Thanks for the input though!! You think I should stick with romance?



Well, that’s just me. After you read the first chapter, who even remembers the descriptions anyway? lol

I picked mystery. Honestly, when I read your story before I never paid attention to what genre it was, but I wouldn’t have guessed it was in romance, so that’s why I think mystery would be a better fit.

There needs to be more genres imo, because I feel like yours is more a coming-of-age type story, and that doesn’t fit into just any one category


Yeah, I feel the same. Like, I’m not really sure if mystery fits better but I don’t think either really fits. I wish there were more categories or that you could at least select multiple :woman_shrugging:t4:


I just searched to see if there was a feature request for this and I couldn’t find one so I’m going to make one now


Ahh yes, please tag me when you do! Xx


I agree with you here! The original one seems much better to me as well!


I am not sure how to vote, tbh, but I can tell that I’ve put my story under triller section for similar reasons. Can’t say that it’s really paying off…:woman_shrugging::woman_shrugging::woman_shrugging:


Hmmm really? That’s interesting, thanks… I think im going to try it out in mystery and if it doesn’t work I can always switch back!




Topic closed due to one month of inactivity.