Fiction Genre Exploration (9 cool genres to explore!)


Table of Contents

    Introduction to Fiction Genre Exploration

    Have you been to a public library? If so, do you know how to navigate through the library books to find the perfect one for you? There are lots of categories that separate books. The main categories are Fiction and Non-fiction. Today we are doing a Fiction Genre Exploration.

    Fiction genre

    What is a Fiction ? 

    Fiction books contain things that won’t happen in real life such as ghosts, zombies, fairies and mermaids. Fiction stories can also be a novel or a short story. But don’t confuse yourself with fantasy and fiction. Fantasy and Fiction have different characteristics in them.

    Backing up on Fiction, there are different types of fiction; Literary Fiction, Genre Fiction and Mainstream. Most types of fiction don’t relate to real life or history.

    But something such as realistic fiction and historical fiction may include some real life facts. Some examples of all-time fiction books are : Tale of Two Cities, Gulliver’s Adventures and A Passage To India. 

    Fiction genre

    Fiction (Literary Fiction)

    Literary fiction is a broad and hard category to explain. Literary fiction mostly doesn’t have a plot- driven structure. What I mean by plot-driven structure is that it has lots of action and is driven forward by events happening. It’s more of a character-driven structure which is when the book involves character development and emotions. Most of them include figurative language such as metaphors, and idioms.

    Symbolism and imagery play a big role because the author doesn’t show nor tell what the motive of the hero and the villain are. You can also recognize Literary fiction by its story structure.

    Unlike other categorical books, Literary fiction doesn’t have a repeated and a clear story structure and that might affect the end.  Some famous Literary fictional books can be Brave New World, The Lord of Rings and Home Going. 

    Fiction genre
    Literary fiction

    Fiction (Genre Fiction)

    This fiction plays a lot of roles in books. You can notice them, if you do a Fiction Genre Exploration. Genre fiction is also widely known as popular fiction or category fiction. Genre Fiction often has lots of sub-genres which are story categories that are widely famous and seem to attract people.

    Like romance, a very famous category seems to be written based on entertainment that people like and is very appreciated by readers.

    The main genres are mystery, fantasy, horror, romance, science fiction, historical fiction, Western and thrillers. These categories include many sub-genres that are based on the same category but are written differently. Now I’d like to cover the most famous genres from this list. 

    Fiction genre
    Different type of genres


    Ohh… So, creepy, Mystery usually covers an investigation of a crime. There are clues along the way hidden for the reader to discover and solve the case before the investigator.

    The investigator would probably find the guilty person and solve the case at the end of the book while readers enjoy the twists and turns of many more crimes happening based on the first crime.

    In this genre, the type of investigators differ in each sub-genre which separates Mystery and its sub-genres. Some examples from the mystery genre are The Leavenworth Case, The Mystery of Edwin Drood and The 39 clues : The Maze of Bones. You can always find this genre when doing a Fiction Genre Exploration.

    Fiction Genre Exploration
    Mystery (sub-category)


    Romance fiction is known as the strictest due to its rules of how the story should be written. All sub-genres have these rules except women fiction which is not considered as a sub-genre.

    And some sub-genres have rules that are common to Romance too. But it still plays a lot of roles in a Fiction Genre Exploration.

    Fiction Genre Exploration

    Such as, a condition that there should be a hero and heroine in the story. Some rules are stricter than others. However, unlike Literary fiction there cannot be guaranteed an interesting ending, Romance is likely considered to have a positive and happy ending. Some of the books in this genre are A Bend in the Road, Fifty Shades of Grey and Dark Lover

    Fantasy fiction

    Fantasy fiction is clearly magic and mystic. These paranormal and supernatural elements play the main role in diverting the character to unsolvable situations and dangerous areas.

    The main fun for readers is discovering and solving mysteries of the imaginary world a novelist created.

    The setting is unlimited of your imagination. The other characters sometimes may not be humans but magical creatures. The rules of the imaginary setting are also limited to the novelist’s imagination.

    Famous books in this genre are Mageborn, When We Believed in Mermaids, and The Girl Who Drank The Moon.

    Fiction genre
    Fantasy fiction (sub-category)

    Science fiction

    Science fiction is always based on technology or theories that are made during the creation of the book. This rule doesn’t apply to science fiction as authors create and imagine theories themselves.

    Science fiction is always based on time travel, futuristic science and technology, space travel, time travel, faster than light travel, parallel universes and extraterrestrial life.

    This fiction is usually known for its extraordinary settings such as under the ocean, in space, on a future version of Earth or a parallel universe. Science fiction also includes some sub-genres of fantasy and horror.

    One of the books written based on this genre is War of the Worlds.

    Fiction genre
    Science fiction (sub-category)


    Western fiction is all about the American old west frontiers and fictional life there. Western fiction also talks about the time in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. As many readers began to change their likings, Western fiction became rare and bookstores stopped selling this fiction.

    Most readers are not interested in old family and farm life. Some time after Western fiction trends started, authors and illustrators began to create Western comics that are about old American west frontiers with villains and superheroes. Most of those comics can be seen in Marvel Comics or bookstores.

    One of these comics was even published in newspapers throughout 1938 – 1964.  One of the famous comics in the Western fiction is Kid Colt Outlaw

    Fiction genre
    Western (sub-category)

    Mainstream Fiction

    Mainstream isn’t anything big since it’s mostly all types of fictional books together. If a book reaches the most popularity it’s considered mainstream. 

    Sometimes, the mainstream gathers books that an all age group can read. All readers should agree that this book is cool and it’s worth anything to be considered mainstream. If you want to write a novel that doesn’t go under any topic or a genre novel that doesn’t follow the rules of its structure then it is mainstream.

    To sum up from all the information, mainstream breaks the rules of genre novels and is something that is considered really popular and worthy. Some books in the Mainstream category are Poet of the wrong generation, Life of Pi, To kill a mockingbird and The catcher in the rye.  But remember this book plays a lot of roles in a Fiction Genre Exploration.

    Mainstream (type of fiction)

    Fiction Genre Exploration: Historical Fiction 

    Historical Fiction is sometimes also considered a genre. Historical Fiction is about history from the past. Historical Fiction doesn’t require its characters to be true but the setting to be real.

    Whatever you do, don’t write historical fiction without research because it is the main part of the structure. An author must discover and research every time period and every historical event during the years.

    Even though the character doesn’t need to be true, he/she must be connected with the story. For example, you don’t want to write that a character used their google maps to locate enemies during the world war.

    The setting must also be recognized quickly like world wars, or when plague killed everyone in England or maybe something connected to royalty and on and on. Some of the most interesting historical fiction books are The book of longings and A long petal of the sea

    Fiction genre
    Historical fiction (sub-category)

    Realistic Fiction 

    Before, you pick out other books make sure to look at Realistic fiction, because this plays an important role in Fiction Genre Exploration. Realistic fiction kind of feels like a real situation/setting to the reader; however the characters are not real.

    The setting is often in the present and the characters will be dealing with problems that are appropriate in the present. For example, you don’t want the characters dealing with the French-Indian war in 2021! Well that kind of story should go under historical fiction.

    And the characters aren’t going to be fantasy either, realistic fiction is all about keeping it real. In most realistic fiction shorts or stories, the character will usually face friendship problems, character problems or real-life problems. SO, all in all, your characters, setting, story plot; everything must be related to real life or be exactly real.

    You can also use your own problems or experiences from your life. Some of the books in this category are Wonder, Out of my mind and Fish in a tree.

    Fiction genre
    Realistic fiction (sub-category)


    Fantasy is one of the main genres in Fiction Genre Exploration. Fantasy stories are kind of similar to fantasy fiction but, the kind of genre with no reality. Fantasy is the category of stories which includes unicorns, fairies, mermaids and mythical characters. Something that would relate with this is Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty or Rapunzel. Sometimes you might think they are fantasy, but they can go under another category too. For example, if you are reading a book about aliens and planets and UFO’s you might say it’s fantasy because aliens aren’t real in your opinion.

    But aliens and UFO’s can also go under science fiction. Another good example of fantasy is folktales and myths. Something like Loch Ness and Jack and the beanstalk. (But I’m not sure if Nessie is really real!!!) The main difference between fantasy and fiction is that fiction is based off of magic while fiction and its categories use mild magic and mostly realistic characters. Another difference between fantasy and fiction might be the way the story is created or written. Dune and Game of Thrones are considered Fantasy.

    Fiction genre

    Conclusion for Fiction Genre Exploration

    So, we did our whole Fiction Genre Exploration. Now that we’ve looked at the categories of fiction and its sub-categories, we will head off into Non – fiction in the next post! I hope I have covered all the types of fiction and the most important subcategories. And I hope you try some of the books I’ve given as examples to get a more deep understanding of fiction and to go on an adventure. I also did some research from :

    GOTHAM WRITERS, WIKIPEDIA, NOVEL WRITING HELP. Author learning center, Mcquade library

    Before you sign off make sure to visit these links: ,

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