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Defining Genres

Here is a list of different types of Fiction and a brief definition that will help you to find the right genre for your book.

This list is by no means exhaustive.

Animal Fiction – the main character is an animal.

Adventure writing is thrilling with the occasional risky plot or setting.

Autobiography is a true story of the author’s life.

Biography is a true story of someone’s life.

Chic lit (Women’s Fiction) is specifically for young women (especially single, working women) in their twenties and thirties.

Erotica is… sex that includes fetish, mature, and sexual fantasies.

Ethnic /Multi Ethnic/Multi Cultural Fiction features authentic cultures, ethnic groups and characters that are new or unfamiliar to a reader.

Fables, comparable to folktales are moralistic. The characters are generally animals.

Fantasy or Fanciful Fiction uses magic and supernatural forms as a primary element.

Folktales – traditional stories passed down orally by different cultural groups.

Historical Fiction is based on a historical event/era.

Humorous Fiction is a funny story, characters, setting and or plot.

Inspirational Writing is self-explanatory.

Mystery – a problem is solved by following clues.

Realistic Fiction – story that is based on a true story.

Religious or Theological Thriller – think ‘The Da Vinci Code’.

Science Fiction – fiction story with a science theme, space etc.

Women’s Fiction is an umbrella term for a wide-ranging collection of literary sub-genres that are marketed to female readers, including many mainstream novels, romantic fiction, ‘chick lit,’ and other sub genres.

Young Adult (YA) writing – targeted to ages 13 to 20.


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