bird dogHow to you make your novel adhere to the formula for the genre you’re writing  without being formulaic? Your manuscript has to be just a little different than, in my case, the run of the mill cozies/chicklits/hen mysteries.

Novel classes emphasize that your character should grow in the course of your book. Ideally your protagonist should have a flaw or weakness they must deal with. Mine does.

I love the humor of cozies/chicklits/hens. But I also like the character I’ve created, Maggie. I’d hate to break them up. Can’t a damaged person exhibit humor in her life? Everyone we know lives with that dichotomy.

The trouble is in marketing the book. For one thing, the title, Donuts and Doorknobs, screams humor a la chicklit, but a little warning to the reader seems in order. I don’t want her chuckling along and all of a sudden surprised by the turn to the dark side. But what could I even call this hybrid genre?

Designer Dogs. Obviously you don’t want to refer to your manuscript as anything even like a dog. But . . .the names of designer dogs are really zippy. You know, the labradoodle (lab and poodle), the puggle (pug and beagle), the chiweenie (Chihuahua and dachshund). Whole websites are devoted to listing these combos, most of which I’ve never heard of before. There’s the bocker (beagle + cocker spaniel), the cheagle (Chihuahua + beagle) and my favorites: the dorkie (dachshund and yorkie)and puggit (pug + Italian greyhound). Careful how you say that last one.

So I’d like to create a name for this hybrid mystery. Not quite sure what name to give it, though. Through the series, Maggie reaches a revelation and resolution to her problem. Revolution or resolution + chicklit?  Chicklit/rev? Chicklit/res? That sounds like a vacation package. Chicksuspense?

And is there even an audience for a light frothy way of dealing with murder while seriously dealing with psychological problems along the way? A blog for another day. . . with a quote from George Bernard Shaw.

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