Selecting which genre your manuscript falls other is a tricky task. The problem for most stories is that they fall under more than one genre. Knowing which genre your story falls under will aid you when you seek out your agent or editor, and again later when you market it.
So, let’s start with what is a genre. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines genre as “a distinctive type or category esp. of literary composition”. Dumbing it down: a genre is what classification your novel will fall under. Think of when you go into a library or a bookstore – or even a regular department store – the books or goods are divided up into sections. A library or bookstore will have the non-fiction separated from the fiction books, and romance novels separated from the children’s books and so forth.
So, what are the different genres you might ask. Well, there are many and even different categories or sub-categories of the genres. The most basic two genres are the fiction and non-fiction.
Fiction: something (as a story) invented by the imagination (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
Non-Fiction: not fiction (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
– Stories based on actual people, places, or events.
A few genres’ that fall under the fiction novels:
- Science Fiction & Fantasy
- Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
- Action and Adventure
A few genres’ that fall under the non-fiction novels:
- Self Help (Handbook/Textbook) / Cookbooks
Each of these categories have multiple sub-categories (as mentioned above).
As an example:
- Romance can have regency romance, contemporary, historical, etc.
- Fantasy has epic, dark, magic realism, high, urban, etc.
There is also the different age group genre’s: Children, Middle School, Young Adult, New Adult, Adult.
I will explore each of these categories in upcoming weeks.
L. R. Mauck