If writing a horror novel appeals to you, figure out what scares you the most – perhaps something tangible, perhaps something psychological – then put a name or a face to it. You will improve your English in only 5 minutes per day, guaranteed! Thrillers and suspense novels tend to be longer than mysteries and feature more involved and complex storylines, often told from the viewpoints of several characters. There really is no substitute for studying the market you intend to enter in considerable detail. There are many sub-genres, including paranormal, historical, contemporary, category, fantasy, and gothic. Fiction can be classified in several genres and subgenres and many stories have elements of more than one genre. I’ve covered most of the biggies, but apologies if I’ve missed out your favorite niche. So if you write a horror novel with a large dose of romance thrown in, you need to decide if the central thrust of your plot is the horror element or the romance. The body tends to be discovered very close to the beginning of the novel, and the bulk of the action then concerns the detective’s attempts to discover the identity of the murderer. But then you probably do that anyway! The guilty to be brought to justice by the end (no downbeat or ambiguous endings) through the skills of the detective (not by some lucky break). The reason it is important to know your specific genre is that all novels within a genre will share similar characteristics, or elements that fans of that category will expect your novel to contain. Fiction Genres • Historical fiction • Realistic fiction • Fantasy • Science fiction • Mystery • Folktales • Genre hybrids 5. Indeed most fiction books on the bestseller list would be classified as genre fiction rather than literary fiction. Is there any swearing? Mystery is a popular genre, boasting a huge established audience. Accurate period details are paramount, meaning research is a vital part of the novel writing process. It’s essentially mainstream fiction – meaning the focus is on the commonplace dramas of our everyday lives. Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, and More So in a traditional detective novel, for example, fans will expect… 1. . We hope you are enjoying this video! (And, incidentally, it’s often proved right. Pastiche: a story that imitates one or more established works, or consists of episodes of such works, 23. Wonderful dissection of genres. The easiest thing is to take a novel similar to the one you plan to write and see how it is categorized in bookstores. There are three main types of fiction: the short story, the novella and the novel. People keep trying to tell me they are the exact same thing. Make your heroine middle-aged and overweight if you like. All mysteries focus on a crime, usually murder. Sure, they’ll agree on the main genres (horror, romance, etc. If a novel’s overriding purpose is to thrill and excite, it is probably a suspense novel or a thriller. Alternatively, the novel might be set in an ostensibly ordinary world into which the fantasy element leaks. And it’s your job to learn these conventions. Fictional autobiography: a story purporting to be a first-person account of someone’s life, 16. The protagonist might be an historical figure, or they might be an ordinary person (with the odd famous historical figure appearing in the background). Science Fiction. Traditionally, it’s the police who are the “goodies” and the criminals who are the “baddies,” but all that is turned on its head in crime fiction. 2. If romantic fiction is largely aimed at women, action and adventure novels are the most “macho” of the fiction genres. Melodrama: a story that emphasizes action over characterization and features exaggeratedly dramatic plot elements, 21. But it’s worth mentioning here because it is a term you may see used. Travelogue: a story with a plot centering on a significant amount of travel. And the subject matter tends to be something women will relate to more than men, so they are more likely to be about relationships, for example, than cars or football. Here are some of the possibilities…. When writing a fantasy novel (or probably a whole series of them), your novel’s protagonists might start in the real world and be drawn into the fantasy world, or the story might occur totally in the fantasy setting. Why? (More on this lower down.). Now, don’t get me wrong…. The bulk of the plot must focus on the man and woman falling in love, and struggling to maintain that love (and not be about a bank robbery, say, that just happens to include a love interest). According to the famous short story writer Edgar Allan Poe, a short story is a piece of fiction that can be read in one sitting of about a half hour to about two hours. Another element which separates one genre of mystery fiction from another is the setting. The prose fiction is used in literature, newspapers, magazines, encyclopedias, broadcasting, film, history, philosophy, and law; it’s basically the structure in which words are written that flow well when read. This is the classic whodunit. Children’s Fiction — Fiction in this genre is written for kids aged up to 13 and is further divided into smaller subgenres. Tragicomedy: a story with both humorous and heartbreaking aspects, 35. If your setting is distinctive enough, and if no writer has used it before, you could well carve out a new genre of mystery fiction all of your own! All content by Harvey Chapman, © Novel Writing Help, 2008-2020, Prose Writing 101: How to Write With Style. A body to turn up in the first three chapters (and preferably sooner). The most inclusive way to describe a genre is to say it is any group of stories that share enough similarities to appeal to the same group of readers. If the story is told from the point of view of the criminal or criminals, it’s a crime novel. Short stories contain between 1,000 and 20,000 words and typically run no more than 25 or 30 pages. Women’s fiction isn’t actually one of the fiction genres at all, in the sense that it is governed by no strict conventions and will be shelved with all the general literary and mainstream fiction. If there is a ready-made market already there, why risk losing that market by changing the “formula” too much? Mystery fiction: stories that detail the solution of a crime or other wrongdoing, 22. Learn about the first six styles of literature that you can choose to read. If there is an established group of readers who buy medieval murder mysteries, for example, publishing a new medieval murder mystery which follows the same basic pattern as all the others (but is still original) makes great commercial sense. But there will be enough genre-specific information to make tracking down a copy worthwhile. Fiction, literature created from the imagination, not presented as fact, though it may be based on a true story or situation. I favour pastiche as a way to inhabit the space occupied by your writing heroes, and I’m currently doing a series on pastiches of my favourite writers which I would be delighted for you guys to visit and critique. If you are new to your genre, there is no time like now to start reading! Science and technology always lays at the core of these novels – not science and technology as we know it, but a theoretical version of it, such as time travel, which goes against the known laws of nature (at least at the time of writing!). It is usually set in fanciful, invented worlds or alternate realities, or in a legendary and mythic past. If your detective is Miss Marple (or a modern version of her), you might choose a sleepy English village. The fantasy world will be a scientifically impossible one, but will nevertheless have its own internal logic and “laws.” Magic, mysticism and the supernatural all play a large part. less emphasis on characterization, the exploration of theme, and “fine” writing. Comedy: a story with elements and situations intended to amuse, 7. I would like to report this in class , Copyright © 2020 Daily Writing Tips . (If it isn’t recognizable, it will probably sell better if it’s marketed as literary or mainstream fiction.). For example…. Genre Fiction Follows a Specific Formula. They are characterised by sensual tension, desire, and idealism. But fans of genre novels are first and foremost after a good, entertaining read. Besides reading, though, there are a couple of other ways to find out what is permissible, and what isn’t, in your intended category…. Unlike poetry, it is more structured, follows proper grammatical pattern, and correct mechanics. The word is from the Latin fictiō, “the act of making, fashioning, or Types of literature in the fiction genre include the novel, short story, and novella. Are they used frequently or just now and again? The story is set in the past keeping the manners, social conditions and other details of that period unchanged. Mythic Fiction: stories inspired, or modeled on, classic myths, legends and fairy tales. • A genre is a kind of text • Different genres have different kinds of settings, conflicts, and characters 4. A previous post detailed synonyms for story. Bildungsroman: a story detailing the emotional and moral growth of a character, 5. On the one hand, you need to follow the conventions as closely as you can, in order that your novel becomes a recognizable member of its genre and can be marketed as such. Genre fiction is also known as popular, commercial or category fiction. Some people find this entertaining! If that leaves you unsure how to market yourself, then here are some rules of thumb…, If your novel contains a puzzle to be solved, usually a murder, you are writing mystery fiction. But you don’t want to push the boundaries so far that you alienate fans of the genre. 1000 words or less to tell a tale. If so, is it graphic or more implied? Some of the popular fantasy fiction books are Harry Potter series and Lord of the Rings trilogy. Gothic fiction: stories often taking place in an isolated setting and involving strange and/or perilous happenings. Also note that genres change all the time (as readers’ tastes change), so the only way to keep up to date with what is hot (and what is not) is to spend an unhealthy amount of time hanging out in bookstores, real or online. Allegory: a story using symbolism to express truths about the human condition, 4. Western fiction is about life on America’s post civil war western frontier (that is, west of the Mississippi). My job is to teach folks how to write any novel – and, yes, the “rules” of novel writing apply to all novels. Some fiction genres are stricter than others in terms of the “conventions,” or rules, of that genre (more on this lower down), and romantic fiction is the strictest of them all. It’s distinguished from horror by generally steering clear of the macabre. The Crossword Solver finds answers to American-style crosswords, British-style crosswords, general knowledge crosswords and cryptic crossword puzzles. Epistolary fiction: stories constructed as a series of letters exchanged between characters, 14. 1. In some academic and journalistic circles, genre fiction is considered inferior to literary fiction, but in fact, genre fiction is more popular with large masses of readers. Only some? It’s also the most diverse category, in terms of the sheer number of sub-genres that it contains. 14. Enter the answer length or the answer pattern to get better results. 4. Partly because there are just so many of these sub-genres. It aims to evoke a combination of fear, fascination and revulsion in readers. Nonfiction Genres. Mafia novels are also crime novels, with Mario Puzo’s The Godfather being the most famous example. An argument can be made that there are two types of fiction when it comes to novels: Genre Fiction and Literary Fiction. Then you must decide what the principal focus of your novel is. Let's explore each of these. These specialist books will contain a lot of general novel writing advice (the kind you get from me and that applies to all novels, of whatever genre). In some ways, suspense novels are closer in style to mysteries than thrillers – and indeed, many mysteries are tagged as suspense novels (“psychological suspense,” for example). This makes it exciting in that it portrays a way of life unfamiliar to modern audiences, often elucidating the experiences of famous historical figures or events. What is the typical hero or heroine like? Also, “Micro-Fiction”; anywhere from 100-200 words. Fannie Flagg’s Fried Green Tomatoes At the Whistlestop Café is a perfect example of this type of novel. etc. It’s not safe, and it probably rots your teeth, too. You probably heard a number of these as a child. The Crossword Solver found 20 answers to the Fiction genre crossword clue. It is the mystery novelist’s responsibility, therefore, to play fair with his or her audience, and this means providing clues (cleverly hidden ones, of course) for the reader to discover along the way. That isn’t to say that commercial fiction can’t contain three-dimensional characters, a strong theme and high-quality prose – because it can and does. Tolkien, as well as the current, multi-best-selling, young adult author J.K. Rowling. Horror fiction can be a guide through a nightmare world, entered freely and by the reader’s own will. Mystery fiction, crime fiction, thrillers, suspense novels – if you plan to write a novel somewhere in this field, you’ll probably find that your book contains elements of them all…. Go for an unhappy ending if that’s what suits your artistic sensibilities. Are the spy novels of John le Carré thrillers? The writer to provide clues (cleverly hidden ones) and several red herrings. It all boils down to business…. Okay, so having chosen which of the genres most appeals to you, and having studied published novels to learn the conventions, the next step is to decide how closely (or not) you will follow the conventions. In this view, by comparison with literary fiction, genre fiction is thought to be formulaic, commercial, sensational, melodramatic, and sentimental. Romantic novels aren’t so much. Action Adventure. They are often set in places like jungles or deserts or tropical islands. But it’s possible, of course, to lump writers into similar groups.