Figuring Out Your Genre

Deep down every new writer knows what genre his or her works and ideas belong to, even though lines between the genres can be pretty vague. But figuring out your genre is very important as it will help you understand your audience, you should know exactly who you are writing for: teenagers, children, 40/50 year-old adults, people with or without higher education, women or men and etc. Your book has to belong to a certain section to be noticed. If you pick a wrong category or a wrong publisher – no matter how great your book is, it won’t be noticed. So, let’s review the main genres, shall we?

Thriller. This genre is mostly for men. The plot revolves around fights, chases, saving pretty women and etc. Books that belong to this genre: The Firm by John Grisham, Deception Point by Dan Brown.
Detective novel. The main storyline is – crime investigation. Books belonging to this genre: Agatha Christy books, Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle and his Sherlock Holmes.
Historical novel. Time settings – the past. As a rule, the storyline is associated with significant historical events. Books that belong to this genre: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz .
Love story. Main characters fall in love. For example: Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.
Mystery. The plot is based on supernatural events, creatures or signs. E.g.: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown.
Adventure. Main characters get in trouble or go on a risky trip. Books that belong to this genre are: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.
Horror. Main characters are in deadly danger and try to survive. For instance: Stephen King “The shining” and “Carrie”.
Science fiction. Main events take place in a parallel universe, or another planet. One of the science fiction types is alternative history. Books belonging to this genre: H.G. Wells “Men like Gods” and “The Invisible Man”.
Fantasy. Main features of this genre are: magical worlds, fantastic creatures, talking animals. Shortly speaking, fantasy is a fairytale for adults and is usually based on folklore. Among books that belong to this genre there are: Harry Potter by Joan Rowling, Lord of the Rings by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, Interview with the Vampire by Ann Rice.
Most of the books listed above are cinematized. My personal favorites are Harry Potter movies: wonderful actors, scenes, video effects and, of course, great sound tracks, especially Hedwig’s theme and The Arrival.
So, here I listed the main literary genres, but remember that most books don’t belong to a certain genre, for instance: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell is both: a historical novel and a love story.


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