Writers’ Guide 101 – Genres


I did not realise what sub-genre of the Romance genre I was writing until I was writing Operation Stop The Wedding!!! A Google search due to a reader’s comment led me to discovering that the Romance genre has under it several other sub-genres and even one or two of them are kind of considered genres of Fiction writing on their own.

Imagine my surprise learning all this. This is one of the reasons I believe Genre is a most important lesson a writer/aspiring writer must learn. It is said that many writers are not aware of the genre they write until they probably have to deal with an editor, an agent or a publisher. Some are lucky to find out along the way of their writing career, just like I did, and some others are brilliant enough to know from the beginning.

Whatever the case and which ever place you belong to, today we will begin the long, long lesson on Genres of Fiction Writing. This particular lesson will be taken one baby step at a time (mostly because of my busy writing schedule), but nonetheless, I believe it will be a most interesting lesson.


Wikipedia defines Genre as any category of Literature or other forms of art or entertainment… Genres are formed by conventions that change over time as new genres are invented and the use of old ones are discontinued. Often, works fit into multiple genres by way of borrowing and recombining these conventions.

Dictionary.reference.com defines it simply as a class or category of artistic endeavour having a particular form, content, technique or the like.

The Merriam-webster definition is almost similar, a category of artistic, musical, or literary composition characterized by a particular style, form or content.

And so we have the definition of Genre, it is a category of literature or literary work or artistic work that possesses a particular form, style, content and techniques. Having known this, we will now delve into the various GENRES OF FICTION

Genre Fiction, also known as popular fiction, is plot-driven fictional works written with the intent of fitting into a particular literary genre, in order to appeal to readers and fans already familiar with that genre.

The above definition if from Wikipedia.

Genre Fiction is different from Literary fiction, but that is a topic for the far future.

There are many genres of Fiction, we will list the rather popularly known and mostly written genres…

1. Drama. This is a genre in which stories are composed in verse or prose, mostly for theatrical performance and where conflicts and emotions are expressed through dialogue and action.

2. Poetry. This genre of fictional literature is for exciting pleasure by beautiful, imaginative and elevated thoughts. It is written in verse and rhythmic form with imagery that evokes an emotional response from its reader.

3. Fantasy. This type of fiction can be said to be literally out of this world. It is a literary work that encompasses a strange world, settings and characters.

4. Science Fiction. This genre of literature is set in the future or on other planets. It is based on the impact of potential science, either actual or imagined. Some consider Science Fiction and Fantasy to be one and the same.

5. Realistic Fiction. This is a story that can actually happen in real life. It is written with a real life theme and uses real life events and places.

6. Historical Fiction. It is a story with fictional characters and events in a historical setting.

7. Horror. This is a genre fiction in which events evoke a feeling of dread in both characters and readers.

8. Mystery. This is the genre fiction that deals with the solution of a crime or the unraveling of secrets.

9. Romance. This is a work of literature centered on the theme of relationships, love, passion and happy endings. It is a category of fiction aimed to divert and entertain women… and men who enjoy the genre.

10. Women’s Fiction. The Women’s Fiction genre is sometimes considered a sub-genre of the Romance genre which had earned its own unique spot. But this fiction genre is quite different as despite its focus on relationships and possibly love, it does not always have a happy ending. Its focus is on the triumph of the protagonist female over unbearable circumstances.

11. Suspense/Thriller. Novels under this genre are tense, exciting, often sensational with ingenuous plotting, swift actions and continuous suspense. Writers of this genre often thrill their readers with a constant sense of impending doom on the main characters.

12. Crime/Detective. Sometimes considered to fall under the Mystery and Thriller genres, this genre fiction is based on the commission of a crime and the investigation of that crime.

13. Young adult. These are fictional stories written and published by young people between the ages of twelve and seventeen.

Other genres of fiction include — Western; Mythology; Legend; Comedy; Short story; Fairytale; Tragedy; Travelogue; Satire and so on.

And that is that with the list of popular Genres of Fiction. We will talk more on everyone of them over time. But next less (which I’m not exactly sure when) we will be looking at how important it is to know the genre you write.

Do leave comments and you may ask your questions, hopefully I would be able to answer them… or we will find out together. Cheers, and have a great week. Keep praying for more inspiration for me as per my writing *wink*


**Many thanks to Wikipedia; Merrian-webster; Dictionary Reference; Genres of Literature and Dummies**


16 thoughts on “Writers’ Guide 101 – Genres

    • Lol. You mean Romantic Suspense? You are right. It is these days considered a genre on its own. I will add that as we expatiate on the subject.

        • Jeff, I believe that is what is called Romantic Suspense. There is crime — suspense and then there is love story — Romance(tic).
          Some like to call it Romantic Thriller though. Will find out if there’s a difference.

  1. Genres aren’t much I think about. I mainly write short, short stories and poems. Right now I am writing non-fiction, my life stories and I don’t think they have genre’s do they?

  2. Journals, I believe, fall under the Narrative Non-Fiction genre of the Non-Fiction category of Literature.

    It’s a genre that focuses on the narration of actual events of one’s life in a story format. Like K1’s wedding day story.

    • I’m glad you did, Shakirah and welcome officially to a Alifediary where we’re one family and watch out for each other *e-style* Lol

  3. Pingback: Writers’ Guide 101 – TYPES OF FICTION | Life and Spices

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