Things that Aren’t Genre

Genre Definition – Misconceptions – MicroGenre – What’s the Point

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Hello Lovelies, and welcome back to the blog. I’ve been talking this year all about genre and about the major and minor genre categories that we see and can use as writers. We’re coming to the end of the year and you may have noticed that ther’s a lot that we haven’t had the time to tslk about yet, so I want to address that now. Let’s get started.

Genre Definition

I talked more in-depth about this in an early post from this year called, What is Genre?, so if you need a more specific introduction, please check that first one out. When we talk about genre, what we are trying to describe is the category in which our books are put into. These categories can and do set certain expectations for the reader, whether we want them to do so or not. And this is important because the better you know the genre of book you’re writing, the better you can meet those expectations in new and interesting ways that readers will love and keep coming back for more.

Genre Misconceptions

There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to the discussion surrounding genre. Those misconceptions make talking about genre extremely difficult. Let me go over a few of them now. 

  • There is a definite thing that separates and characterizes books of each genre, and that thing is known and set in stone.
  • There is genre and there is literary, and the two are mutually exclusive.  
  • Genre is for fiction only. Non-fiction books cannot be genre, nor can books cross genre categories.
  • Once a book is decidedly categorized into one genre, it will always be in that genre.

I’ve addressed these items in my post from earlier in the year, called What Genre Isn’t, so if you’re still unclear, you may want to check that out before continuing.


We’ve talked all year about genre, and at the end of the year, there’s a lot that we still haven’t talked about. If you are looking at the genre categories on places like Amazon, you’ll notice that they consider a lot of other genres as big, and they have way more micro-genres built in than you’d expect. 

For instance, you can go from Books to Literature & Fiction to Mythology & Folktales and all the way down to find Folklore, where, the new Illustrated Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien ranks at #2 overall. It also is found in Epic Fantasy and Literary Fiction. At Barnes & Noble, The Silmarillion can be found in Historical Fantasy, Epic Fantasy – Other, and Middle Earth – The Silmarillion.

The Point of Learning Genre

The point of attempting an entire year of genre posts was not to go into major detail on every single micro genre that could possibly be out there. There are thousands of micro categories that your book might niche into and list, and I couldn’t hope to be an expert or make you an expert on them all in a year’s time. 

I can, however, help you to understand the bigger picture of genre. That is something which you need to be intimately familiar with as a writer for the overall structure of your novels, and for knowing how to effectively market your novels. My hope with teaching genres this year is that you’ve come out of the year with a greater understanding of which genre your novel best fits into, and a direction for where to start to write and market your novel.

Next Week

Next week, we are going to recap what we’ve learned this year about Genre. We’ll go over each of the 5 Pillars of Genre, and their main subgenres. If you want a cheat sheet for the whole year, next week’s post will be just that. I’ll see you next week for the final post on genre.

Discussion Questions

  1. What is your favorite pillar of genre we’ve gone over this year?
  2. Do you think microgenres help or hurt book marketing and sales? Why or why not?
  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!

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