Introduction to Fiction as a Literary Genre

Fiction – Romance – Crime – Historical – Inspirational – Western – Science – Horror – Fantasy

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Hello Lovelies, and welcome back to the blog. Today we are going to talk about the fifth and final Pillar of Genre, and I am finally getting to introduce you to Fiction as a Literary Genre. There are a ton of subgenres that fall under the fiction category and I am so excited to go over them all and find out your favorites. Let’s dive straight in, shall we?

Fiction Definition

Fiction is the big one. According to dictionary.com, fiction is “the class of literature comprising works of imaginative narration, especially in prose form.” Just about everything we’ve covered other than non-fiction is technically fiction, but there’s a super special category broken out for any other fiction that has not already been covered.

Because this encompasses so many subgenres, it’s going to take up the rest of the year just in talking about them all. Westerns, romances, science fiction, historical fictions, fantasy, crime, horror, and more all fit into this major category of general fiction. While most of these are novel format, fiction can be written in novella length or even shorter.

Fiction Subgenres

As has been the normal flow of my introduction posts in the past, I want to give you a super brief definition of each subgenre, with the understanding that each will have its own more in-depth post devoted to it in the weeks to come.

Romance

The romance genre in literature focuses on the idea of love and relationships of the characters. While it may absolutely have mystery, adventure, and other elements, it is the romantic plot that runs the strongest through the piece and is the most heavily focused upon.

Crime

Crime fiction is the genre of fiction that deals with crimes, their detection, criminals, and their motives. The same as romance, crime novels may take place in fantastical settings, or they can have magical elements, or mix any number of other things into the mix, but the crime and the solving of the crime are the primary drivers of the novel’s plot.

Historical

The historical fiction definition in literature is a story that blends true historical facts with fictional characters and events. This definition is almost too broad in its scope because the historical fiction genre can be nearly anything based in history. 

Inspirational

Inspirational fiction is a brand of fiction that is largely uplifting, often with characters who enact positive change in their lives. As with all of these, the inspirational fiction genre can cross genres sometimes, and have many other elements, but I’ve personally read many contemporary novels that seemed inspirational to me at the time.

Western

Books in the western genre are made up of stories that take place in the American Old West, typically during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The westerns explore various moral ambiguities and topical problems by means of dramatic allegories set in the Old West.

Science

Science fiction, often called “sci-fi,” is a genre of fiction literature whose content is imaginative, but based in science. It relies heavily on scientific facts, theories, and principles as support for its settings, characters, themes, and plot-lines, which is what makes it different from fantasy. So, while the storylines and elements of science fiction stories are imaginary, they are at least scientifically plausible.

Horror

Horror stories are designed to evoke fear, fascination, or revulsion in the reader. This is done either through supernatural elements or psychological circumstances. 

Fantasy

Fantasy is a genre of literature that features magical and supernatural elements that do not exist in the real world. Although some writers juxtapose a real-world setting with fantastical elements, many create entirely imaginary universes with their own physical laws and logic and populations of imaginary races and creatures. Speculative in nature, fantasy is not tied to reality or scientific fact.

Next Week

Next week, we are going to start our journey into fiction by taking a closer look into Romance, revisiting its definition, looking further into examples, and talking about how you might write your own Romance novels. The weeks following, we’ll also dive into the other Fiction subgenres, so you can look forward to those very soon! 

Discussion Questions

  1. What is your favorite fiction book?
  2. Do you have a favorite type of fiction subgenre?
  3. What genre is your favorite to read in, and do you write in the same genre or a different one?
  4. What is the most important reason writers should be aware of genre and its conventions?
  5. What questions would you like to see me answer in a blog post or podcast episode?

Leave your answers in the comments section for this post!

Click this link to hear this blog post as a podcast with your favorite podcasting app!

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