Genre? Where does your baby belong?

November 29, 2011

A book’s genre can be complicated. Often, people assume books are either written simply as novels or as non-fiction text. But they would be wrong. Books are categorized into lots of genres.

Next time you visit a library or a bookstore, notice the way they shelve non-fiction. There are usually sections on travel, religion, and history, just to name a few. Sometimes your book may have cross-over appeal. My non-fiction book: Soul Sunday: A Family’s Guide to Exploring Faith and Teaching Tolerance contains multicultural religious content, but is written for parents. Some bookstores shelve it in religion, but most toss it in parenting.

Fiction is a bit more complicated. Here are a few genres to get you started:


  • Romance
  • Fantasy
  • Science fiction
  • Realistic or contemporary fiction
  • Mystery
  • Crime
  • Historical fiction
  • Supernatural
  • Dystopian
  • Myth and fairytale
  • Poetry
  • Magical realism


It can be helpful to join an organization that specifically caters to one genre. Whodunit writers, for example, can meet for conferences and learn tools of the trade to improve their mystery. Identifying your genre and reading as much as you can in the same subject area will also help your own writing.




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