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Types of Writing Genres

A writing genre is a category of composition. Pieces that fit within a specific genre have similarities in the subject matters, style, and form. As a writer, your work is going to fit into a certain genre based on what you’ve created and how readers interpret what you’ve written. Most works will fit into one genre, but some may have multiple genres. If you’re wondering which one is right for you, then here is a current list of the major types of writing genres available today.

Classic:
Classic fiction is the type of work that has been generally accepted for educational purposes. Works that fit into this category would be the books you studied in high school and college literature classes.

Crime:
This genre focuses on the crime itself. It may discuss how the criminal gets caught or why the crime was committed in the first place.

Drama:
These are typically stories that are created through the use of prose, verse, or scenes. Movies and theater fit into this genre, as do certain books where the conflict and emotion are expressed in dialogue and action.

Fable:
These stories offer readers certain truths or opinions in a supernatural way. In many fables, it is animals who speak or take on human characteristics.

Fairy Tale:
This genre originally received its name because it told stories about fairies. Now any story about a magical land or creatures will typically qualify as being part of this category.

Fan Fiction:
This is a relatively new genre. It is a story that is written by a fan, but incorporates characters, scenes, and locations that were originally created by someone else. TV shoes and movies typically see the most work in this category, but some literature – such as the Twilight series – has also seen several fan fiction entries.

Fantasy:
This type of work will include settings that occur somewhere else in the universe. Characters may seem strange, but that’s because this category invites a complete suspension of reality.

Folklore:
This genre focus on the legends and myths that have been passed down from generation to generation. Stories like Johnny Appleseed, though based on the actions of a real person, qualify as folklore.

Graphic Fiction:
This is the category for comic books and graphic novels.

Historical:
This genre offers readers events and fictional characters that occur within a historical setting. Sometimes even real people are included to interact with the fictional characters to create an extra sense of realism.

Horror:
The goal of this type of story is to create feelings of fear and dread. Although some might think of this genre as being full of “blood and gore,” anything which happens to create these negative feelings can qualify as horror.

Humor:
This genre is designed to offer a read a good laugh. It’s goal is to entertain, but good humor will also have an underlying thought or concept that is being conveyed.

Mystery:
This genre is often associated with crime, usually murder, but it doesn’t have to be. Any story which involves the unraveling of secrets would be included within this genre.

Mythology:
This type of story involves the traditional narratives that have become part of our societies over different eras. These may be based on human events, natural phenomenon, or even have religious significance. Many of the images used in this genre will have multiple meanings to them, open for interpretation by the reader.

Realism:
These are stories that are true to life. Sometimes they may be “inspired” by real events. The TV series Law and Order and its spinoffs would qualify under this genre.

Science Fiction:
This genre examines the past, current, and future impact of science on our society. It may also do this from an alien perspective as well. What makes this genre unique is that it can be included in every other genre as well, including realism.

Short Stories:
This type of story may fit into any number of genres, but is so short that there is only one plot to it. There are no sub-plots in this genre.

Suspense:
In basic terms, this genre puts the main character into a place where harm may potentially happen to them. The goal of the story is to then follow the character as they attempt to evade that harm in some way.

Tall Tales:
These stories don’t try to be realistic at all. They include many exaggerations and offer characters that unabashedly perform impossible tasks.

Westerns:
This genre takes place in the Old West of the United States, usually taking place in the late 1800s or early 1900s. They may include romance, suspense, and realism at various levels.

Non-fiction writing also has different types of genres: biographies, essays, personal narratives, textbooks, self-help books, and journalism are different forms of non-fiction writing. The different types of genres are designed to distinguish what a work is and what a reader can expect, which makes it easier for the writer to connect to the reader in a meaningful way.

Melissa G Wilson

Melissa has been a leader in the book writing, publishing and marketing arena for the past two decades. To date, she has helped more than 100 thought leaders write, publish and market their books. Her clients include executives such as Dan Weinfurter a seven-time Inc 500 winner and Orlando Ashford, President of Holland Cruise Lines.

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