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Common Genres in Fiction

Updated: Jul 7, 2021

Fiction is a phrase that associates with a tale created in the writer's mind instead of a story based entirely on truth or a true story. A work of fiction may refer to a short story, novella, or novel (the longest form of literary writing). Each work of fiction is classified as a sub-genre, having its distinct style, tone, components, and narrative techniques. Here is the list of the common genres in fiction:


This popular genre, packed with gut-wrenching dread, keeps readers turning the blood-stained pages. From the writer's viewpoint, the distinguishing feature aims to scare readers by exploiting their conscious and subconscious anxieties: dread of supernatural powers, extraterrestrial visitations, lunacy, death, and mutilation, among others.


The mystery genre is widespread, with a sizable established following. All mysteries revolve around a crime, most often a murder. The action is usually focused on the efforts of a cunning detective-type to solve the murder. The answer is subsequently given to both the protagonists and the reader, replete with surprises. And the climax often comes towards the conclusion, in a leisurely setting in which all of the mystery's components are neatly arranged for the reader's ease.

Subgenres of mystery fiction include espionage, detective, and criminal tales. There is a sizable network of mystery writers organizations, conventions, conferences, and publications dedicated to assisting mystery writers in their art.


Romance is a vast genre devoted to distracting and amusing females. There are aspects of imagination, passion, naiveté, luxury, and adventure in romance stories, and the heroic lover always overcomes insurmountable obstacles to be with his true love. Numerous romances, particularly gothic romances, follow a simple formula: a young, naive lady living in a distant location is courted or threatened by an evil guy and ultimately saved by a brave one.

Additionally, there are subgenres such as historical romance, contemporary romance, fantasy romance, and romantic suspense. If you're intrigued by historical details and locations, consider writing a regency or historical romance. If you like a little mystery or intrigue in your fiction, romantic suspense is for you. On the other hand, if you favor more current tales with sexual honesty, try writing a contemporary romance.

Without a doubt, there are many opportunities in romance writing, which is the biggest, most varied, and most popular commercial genre. Additionally, romance writers' groups may provide specific writing standards.

Science Fiction & Fantasy

Science fiction/fantasy books portray faraway planets and future technology that whisk readers away from the here and now while prompting reflection on current events—this strong genre is imaginative, intellectual, and otherworldly.

Suspense & Thriller

Suspense novels and thrillers are stressful, thrilling, and often spectacular works that include clever planning, quick action, and a constant sense of suspense. The writer's goal in this genre is to create a narrative that is maintained in suspense, surprise, and a continuous feeling of impending doom, all of which drive the reader forward. Unlike mysteries, suspense and

thrillers are driven by action, with a constant danger of physical harm and a hero opposed to a malicious villain.


Often referred to as westerns, these books depicting life on America's post-Civil War western frontier often include clashes between outlaws and cowboys, Native Americans and cowboys, Easterners, and Westerners. While this category has a broad appeal and a strong regional market, it was no longer popular 25 years ago.

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