Spin the Genie’s Genre Bottle
Today there are a plethora of genres. More than ever before. Add in sub-genres and we’re talking over a hundred. Did I mention genres also intertwine like different yarn colors in a knitted blanket? Figuring out which genre fits your unique novel is not always so easy-peasy and unfortunately, there’s no genie on standby with a magic bottle. (That’s just a catchy title to pique your interest. Hehe!)
Let’s jump right in and try to sort this out together.
What are you writing?
Fiction – stories from the author’s imagination in the form of prose, especially short stories, and novels
Nonfiction – literature based in fact, containing verifiable information
And many more. . .
Who is your target audience?
Genres can intertwine:
YA or Young Adult intersects with Paranormal Romance
Romance intersects with Steampunk
Western intersects with Thriller
Confused yet? Maybe we do need a genie or a magic wand to sort this out.
Okay, let’s focus on three fiction genres:
Fall in love: boy meets girl plot
Common Romance Subgenres:
Contemporary – set in the present (Kiss My Boots – Harper Sloan)
Historical – takes place in the past (Devil in Winter - Lisa Kleypas)
Paranormal – romance with a supernatural twist (Fallen - Lauren Kate)
Gothic – mysterious, dark, spooky setting (Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë)
Western – old west time period (Comanche Moon - Catherine Anderson)
And the sub-genre list goes on. . .
Embellish the laws of science using science & technology of the future or past
Popular Sci-Fi Subgenres:
Cyberpunk – high-tech advancements set against dystopic society (Neuromancer - William Gibson)
Steampunk – combines historical setting of 19th century with steam-powered technology (Leviathan -Scott Westerfeld)
Space Opera – set in outer space with elements of space warfare & melodramatic adventures (Ender’s Game - Orson Scott Card)
Robot Fiction – think robots, androids, & artificial intelligence (I, Robot - Isaac Asimov)
Slipstream – science fiction/fantasy intersects with literary fiction (Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell)
And there are many more. . .
Protagonist = teenager
Challenges of youth in any setting imaginable, aimed at ages 12-18
Here we go again with a plethora of subgenres:
Paranormal Romance – think werewolves, vampires, ghosts (The Twilight Saga – Stephanie Meyer)
Historical – teen struggle set in a significant moment in history (The Book Thief - Markus Zusak)
Sci-Fi Dystopian – young protagonist in future world fighting sinister oppression (The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins)
Contemporary – teen struggle happening now (The Fault in Our Stars - John Green)
Fantasy – Magical/supernatural elements with young main character (Harry Potter series - J. K. Rowling)
How many more can you find?
Let’s focus on three nonfiction genres:
Autobiography: The author writes about him/herself
Biography: The author writes about someone else
Self-Help: Contains instructions to help the reader fix personal issues
Choose the genre that best fits your book!