17 Types Of Popular Genres In Fiction

A genre is a type of art, music, or literature that falls into one of several categories. Genre fiction is a form of a novel that appeals to a wider audience than literary fiction. To attract readers, popular genre fiction uses common models, character tropes, and conventions, but the best examples use these elements in unexpected and imaginative ways. The following are the 17 most popular fiction genres.

1. ROMANCE

These stories are about two people in a romantic relationship. Sensual stress, desire, and idealism characterize them. For the majority of the book, the author holds the two main characters apart, but they do finally come together. Sub-genres include historical, contemporary, paranormal, fantasy, gothic, and category in this genre. Example- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

2. ACTION ADVENTURE

This genre encompasses any narrative that places the protagonist in physical danger and is marked by thrilling as well as heroic and daring deeds. It’s fast-paced, with the tension rising as time passes. There is often a climax that provides some kind of relief to the reader. Example- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

3. SCIENCE FICTION

Any tale set in the future, the past, or other realms falls under this genre. Scientific theories and advanced technical concepts are featured in the plot. There are several subgenres of science fiction. Example- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.

4. FANTASY

In contrast to sci-fi, which deals with the cosmos, Fantasy novels deal with kingdoms. These books are full of myths, otherworldly magic-based beliefs, and ideas. They often draw inspiration from historical contexts such as the Dark Ages, and they often have a diverse range of subgenres. Example- A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin.

5. SPECULATIVE FICTION

These stories are set in worlds that differ from our own in several ways. Science fiction, fantasy fiction, horror fiction, supernatural fiction, superhero fiction, futuristic and dystopian fiction, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, and alternate history are all examples of this type. Example- Game Changer by Neal Schusterman.

6. SUSPENSE/THRILLER

These stories revolve around a character that is in danger. Pursuit and Escape are central themes in this genre. It’s full of twists, and there are one or more “dark” characters that the protagonist must avoid or fight. Physical, psychological, or both challenges may be raised to the protagonist. Example- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

7. YOUNG ADULT

Adolescents and young adults are the target audience for young adult books, which are written, distributed, and promoted. These are usually coming-of-age stories that often cross over into fantasy and science fiction.  These kinds of novels have diverse characters. Example- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.

8. NEW ADULT

Characters in New Adult books are college-aged rather than school-aged. It is the next age level after YA. It delves into the difficulties and uncertainties that come with leaving home and living on one’s own for the first time. Many NA books are centered on sex, blurring the lines between romance and erotica. Example- Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire.

9. HORROR/PARANORMAL/GHOST

These are horror stories with a high-pitched tone of being pursued and escaping. The protagonist must fight against supernatural or demonic forces.  The Occult is a sub-genre in which satanic antagonists are often present. Example- Gothic Tales by Elizabeth Gaskell.

10. MYSTERY/CRIME

These are often referred to as “whodunits.” The core problem is a question that needs to be addressed, an identity that needs to be uncovered, and a crime that needs to be solved. As the solution to the mystery approaches, the novel is marked by hints that build suspense. There are several sub-genres in this book. Example- The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler.

11. POLICE PROCEDURALS

These are mysteries in which the crime is solved by a police officer or detective. The focus is primarily on technical or forensic aspects of police work, as well as evidence sorting and collection, as well as legal aspects of criminology. Example- Dead Scared by S.J. Bolton.

12. HISTORICAL

These fictional stories are set against historically accurate backdrops. Fictionalized versions of important historical figures are depicted. Historical Romance is a sub-genre in which a conflicted romantic relationship takes place in a historically accurate setting. Example- War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy.

13. WESTERNS

These stories take place in the old American West. Survival, romance, and adventures with characters from the period, such as cowboys, frontiersmen, Indians, mountain men, and miners, are among the plotlines. Example- Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey.

14. FAMILY SAGA

This genre is about family tales that span two or more generations. Businesses, acquisitions, houses, adventures, and family curses are all included in the plots. In several of these books, a timeline is included. Example- The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher.

15. WOMEN’S FICTION

These stories feature female characters who encounter obstacles, problems, and crises that are directly related to their gender. This includes, but is not limited to, a woman’s dispute with a man. Conflicts with the economy, family, society, art, politics, and religion are also included. Example- Color Purple by Alice Walker.

16. MAGIC REALISM

In this genre, magical occurrences are commonplace. They are not considered odd or peculiar by the characters. They’re an unavoidable part of the plot. Example- One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

17. LITERARY FICTION

This genre is concerned more with the inner lives of characters and themes than with the plot, and it focuses on the human condition. This type of genre is thought to be less well-known among readers. Example- The Open Boat by Stephen Crane.

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