A little while ago, I wrote all about how long a book needs to be to fit into a certain book type. This week I’m exploring what elements feature in some of the primary genres: fantasy, science fiction, horror, and romance. Now, these barely scratch the surface of all of the genres, or rather, sub-genres out there.
Okay, let’s begin with my bread and butter – Fantasy. This genre is broad… like really broad. But typically contains magic or supernatural elements within the main plot devices or world building. Often fantasy books are set in other worlds, though when exploring the sub-genre of urban-fantasy you’re typically going to be reading a book set in an alternate version of our world. You’ll see real places, but there has been a key change in the world that alters your perception of it. Look at Kelley Armstrong’s Otherworld series or Kim Harrison’s Rachel Morgan series. Within more traditional ‘high’ or ‘epic’ fantasy authors delve into the historical and fantastical. I am one of these authors with Hybrid. Set in the distant past, with magic, dragons, elves and all that good stuff. But I also write an urban series (my Eden books).
Next up, is Science Fiction. Another ridiculously broad genre so let’s break it down. This genre mostly occurs in the future, often waaaaay ahead and deals in advances in tech, aliens and space, time travel, and anything that can realistically be extrapolated from our reality using our brilliant imagination. Many sci-fi books involve space travel and aliens, post-apocalyptic themes, zombies and pandemics… the list goes on almost endlessly. One sub-genre that is gaining material thanks to books like The Hunger Games and Divergent is dystopian. My Wings book falls into this sub-genre. An attempt at a perfect world, only to fail and have it become a disaster 😉 Sci-fi books often feature elements of fantasy, but primarily deal with science and technology of the future, often involving a human element.
Horror… Who doesn’t like to be scared every once in a while. It gets the the adrenaline going, the blood pumping… all that jazz. Now typically when I think of horror I think of movies, because that’s what I loathe to watch. But I’ve found that when reading horror, I’m no longer so adverse to the consumption of this genre. When looking at horror fiction, you’ll often find supernatural elements, which again interlink with the above genres. [Noticing a theme here?] Now, when I think of horror in fiction, I think of the King. Stephen King that is. Master of horror and best selling author, his model is one to follow when writing horror fiction. Horror is meant to shock or scare you, designed to get under your skin… As such, they’re almost always intense reads.
Finally… Romance. Ahh the stories of love, lust and everything in between. In this genre, you’ll find everything from a happy ever after to erotica. This category uses sub-genres more than any other genre that I’ve found. Primarily because everyone wants some love, but there are sooooo many different flavours. Romance typically follows two people or more people as they explore love and/or lust. Traditionally, it involves falling in love through trials or difficulty, set in endless situations, time periods or settings love is always found and these stories often end with a happy ever after for the couple.
Now let me tell you a little secret… Come closer, I don’t want everyone to know. Then it won’t be a secret anymore… It’s really f*cking hard to write in only one genre. Like really hard. In my own books, they almost always have a romantic sub-plot, elements of fantasy, sci-fi and horror all mixed into one tidy little *cough*notsolittle*cough* book that I get to share with the world. To be totally honest, I don’t want to only fit into one genre, I want to spread my wings out across all that I can, reach all of the readers that I can… and to be honest it’s also a great marketing tool =)
So spread your writing wings, explore your genres, and have fun! As always, go write something!