Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Genre Overview: Subgenres I

Note: Although I have subdivided the genres into fifty subgenres, be aware that the “line” is neither hard nor fast. Many of the subgenres crosses territories both within a main genre (e.g. many gothic novels also have elements of paranormal or psychological horror) as well as between the main genres (e.g. romantic suspense is a mix between suspense and romance).

High Seas
Adventures occurring on the oceans, often involving piracy. Example: Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

                Adventures set in the United State’s Old West. Example: Work of Zane Gray

Adventures focused on a stranded protagonist trying to survive the forces of nature. Examples: Robinson Caruso by Daniel Defoe, Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Wyss.

Animal Tales
               Adventures about animals, often written from the animal’s point of view. Example: Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

Women’s Fiction
Stories focused on the real-world problems of women, such as raising a family or dealing with aging parents. Example: The work of Karen Kingsbury 

                Stories set in and around Amish communities. Example: Beverly Lewis’ The Shunning

                Stories about the sports world. Examples: the film Miracle on Ice, The Youngest Hero by Jerry Jenkins

Social Commentary
                Stories focused on understanding social trends. Examples: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Coming of Age
Stories focused on the struggles of protagonist’s transition from childhood to adulthood. Example: Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird

Alternate Reality
Stories where real-world characters travel to another world. Example: The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

Epic/High Fantasy
                Traditional fantasy about a quest. Example: The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Medieval-styled stories often about princes, princesses and kingdoms; or retellings of classic fairytales. Examples: the work of the Brothers Grimm and Has Christian Anderson; Cinder by Marissa Meyer; Beast by Chawna Schroeder

Magical Realism/Urban Fantasy
                Stories with a real-world setting into which are inserted supernatural figures or elements, like fairies in the modern world. Urban fantasies have specifically a city setting. Examples: The Giver by Lois Lowry, Knife by R. J. Anderson

                Stories about mythological or legendary figures. Examples: Pendragon Cycle by Stephen Lawhead

Science Fantasy
                Stories with a strong supernatural element set in a futuristic or technologically advanced world. Examples: the Star Wars film series, Firebird by Kathy Tyers

                Stories about biblical characters or set in biblical times. Examples: Ben-Hur by Lew Wallace

                Historical novels set in the United States, or pertaining to U.S. history. Example: Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes

                Historical novels set aboard, frequently in Europe during the past century. Example: The Book Thief by Markus Zuzak, The Zion Chronicles by the Thoenes

Victorian & Regency
                Historical novels set in Victorian or Regency England, which are reminiscent of the work by Jane Austen. Example: the work of Julie Klassen

              Often tracing the history of one family through several decades, though sometimes the history of one place through many decades. Example: James A. Michener’s Centennial, The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy           

Historical Romance
                Romance in a historical period. Example: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Horror stories set in a (pseudo)-medieval building and which often features death, madness, and occasionally romance. Examples: Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe
Horror stories employing supernatural elements for the fear factor, such as ghosts, vampires, and zombies. Examples: The Sixth Sense, the work of H. P. Lovecraft, Bram Stoker’s Dracula (also considered gothic)
Horror stories which trap you through mind games or making you doubt what is real. Example: Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris

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