Writing Tip #5 – Know Your Genres

Hello everyone!

For writing tip #5 I wanted to share with you something that you will definitely need to memorize and understand if you are entering the publishing world and trying to determine your target audience.  This is also particularly important if you are going to query literary agents, because there is nothing an agent hates more than if an author doesn’t understand what sector of writing their work belongs to.

And what are these sectors exactly? BOOK GENRES

There are many book genres in the world today, and new genres show up all of the time.  To be a successful and knowledgeable writer and reader, you need to understand what the genres are and how exactly they are defined.  That is why I have collected for you the definitions of the biggest genres in today’s market.  They will help you to define your work in terms of genre and to understand the audience for each genre type.  And remember, if you are planning on querying literary agents, make sure that you know what genre your book falls into so that you can query agents who are looking for books in your chosen genre.

Major Genres

  • Classic Fiction = fiction that has become a part of an accepted literary canon.
  • Crime/Detective = fiction about crime, how criminals get caught, and the repercussions.
  • Fantasy = fiction with strange, other worldly settings and characters which brings a suspension from reality.
  • Historical Fiction = fictional characters in a historical setting.
  • Horror = fiction that evokes a sense of dread and fear in the characters and the reader.
  • Humor = fiction that involves fun and is meant for entertainment.
  • Legend = stories of folk heroes that involves facts, but includes imaginative material.
  • Mystery = fiction dealing with the solution of crime and unraveling secrets.
  • Science Fiction = actual, imagined or potential science set in the future or on other planets.
  • Short Story = fiction without subplots.
  • Suspense/Thriller = fiction about harm to befall a person or group and attempts to evade harm.
  • Western = American old west set in 18th/19th centuries.
  • Young Adult = written for ages 12 – 18, involves perspectives of characters in this age group.

I hope this helps!

Much love,

Ashley

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