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Let's Talk About: Genre > Book Genres

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message 1: by Jasmin (last edited Jul 09, 2010 10:04PM) (new)

Jasmin (princ3ssjasmin) I. Non-Fiction - account, narrative, or representation of a subject which an author presents as fact. This presentation may be accurate or not; that is, it can give either a true or a false account of the subject in question
Types of Non Fiction
Book report
Creative nonfiction
Design document
Nonfiction films (e.g. documentaries)
Literary criticism
Natural history
Science book
Scientific paper
User manual

II.Fiction -any form of narrative which deals, in part or in whole, with events that are not factual, but rather, imaginary and invented by its author

A. Romances tend to be stories that principally focus on love and relationships, and may take as a subject a single love relationship, or an individual looking for love.
According to subgenre:
1. Contemporary Series Romance - Series romance novels that focus primarily on the romantic relationship and typically set after 1945.
2. Contemporary Single Title Romance - Romance novels which focus primarily on the romantic relationship, released as individual titles, not as part of a series and set after 1945.
3. Historical Romance - Romance novels set in any time period prior to 1945, and taking place in any location.
4. Inspirational Romance - Romance novels in which religious or spiritual beliefs (in the context of any religion or spiritual belief system) are a major part of the romantic relationship.
5. Novels with Strong Romantic Elements - A work of fiction in which a romance plays a significant part in the story, but other themes or elements take the plot beyond the traditional romance boundaries. (*An example of a publisher that handles this would be Harlequin’s Luna line; elsewhere such fiction is sometimes labeled 'Womens' Fiction')
6. Paranormal Romance - Romance tales containing "other-worldly" elements such as ghosts or spectres. Can also be extended to include spirits, devils, demons or angels. In some cases, the characters may posses certain paranormal 'powers'..
7. Regency Romance - Romance novels in which the majority of the story is set against the Regency period of the British Empire. (*What was once considered the ‘Traditional Regency’ romance, of the kind Mary Balogh and Carla Kelly once wrote – with a shorter word count than longer format historical romances - is considered if not dead, then on life support, and published mostly by smaller presses or as reprints of classics. Therefore, in most cases ‘Regency Romance’ simply refers to romances set in the Regency period.)
8. Romantic Suspense - Romance novels in which suspense, mystery, or thriller elements constitute an integral part of the plot.
9. Young Adult Romance - Novels with a strong romantic theme geared toward young adult readers.
10. Time-travel romance- Romance tales set across two different time periods, with one or more characters "time-traveling" between both
11. Futuristic Romance - romance stories set in the far future and containing some science fictional or fantastical elements. Mostly classified in the "paranormal" sub-genre, Futuristic Romances are gaining in popularity and thus some publishers may classify this sub-category as its own sub-genre.
12. Romantica a hybrid between erotica and romance.. Sexual feelings and desires are strongly focused on and some books in this category have sex as the primary focus. The details are thoroughly graphic, and may include what some readers might consider kinky.

According to Time Periods & Locations
1. Historical Romance - An historical romance that doesn't fit any of the historical designations below orcrosses more than two time periods or countries/parts of the world and/or is set or partially set on the High Seas or other oceans at any point in history
2. Dark Ages- 402 - 937 (Dark Ages excludes Viking Romances, which have their own Book Type)
3. Medieval - 938 - 1485 (Medieval excludes Viking Romances, which have their own Book Type)
4. Renaissance - 1485 - 1603
a. Tudor- 1485 - 1558 (if set in England)
b. Elizabethan - 1558 - 1603 (if set in England)

5. Stuart - 1603 - 1714
a. English Civil War/Interregnum (1642 - 1660)
b. Restoration (1660 - 1685)

6. European Historical 1714 - 1914
a. Georgian 1714 - 1810
b. Regency 1811 - 1820
c. Victorian 1832 - 1901 (though Victoria's reign didn't begin until 1837, the Reform Act of 1832 starts the era)
d. Edwardian 1901 - 1914

7. Regency - Traditional Regency Romances - generally set in the Regency era, but some are set in the late Georgian period (we'll let you know if they do).
8. Colonial U.S.1630 – 1789
9. American Historical - 1790 – 1900
10. Civil War/Reconstruction - Historical westerns and frontier-set historicals in the U.S., Canada, and even Australia
11. Frontier/Western
12. Indian -Frontier/Western Historical Romances featuring one Native American lead or where Native American heritage is integral to the story
13. Americana 1880s - 1920s primarily, with a small town or mid-Western feel
14. Turn of the Century 1890 - 1914

B. Westerns can be a branch of historical fiction but may more loosely deal with life in the wild American west, as it was settled.
Mysteries often have characters that investigate crimes or various puzzles.
C. Science fiction tends to use some scientific data as basis for stories, and might focus on things like apocalypse scenarios, future worlds, or space travel, to name just a few.
D. Fantasy may deal with various “unreal” or magical things, or things not possible in the real world, and may contain alternate worlds and/or mythical and made up creatures or peoples.
E. Thrillers are sometimes called spy thrillers and might have themes in which spies are involved in investigating various events, often on a global scale.
F. Horror may rely on elements like the supernatural, apocalyptic events, or in some cases exceptionally graphic cases of murder or mutilation caused by humans or other sources.
G. Historical fiction invents characters or deeds for a specific time period and may tell the story of that time period through fictional and non-fictional but fictionalized characters. A variation of this is the period novel, written either during or after a certain time period and particularly emphasizing what it was like to live in that era, with perhaps fictional characters as examples.
H. Erotica - fictional and factual stories and accounts of human sexual relationships which have the power to or are intended to arouse the reader sexually.


I will try to update for subgenres :o time to update shelves, i think.
If you’re wondering why I did not put Erotica under Romance, this is why:
A romance novel is focused on the romance - the love story between two people - and not necessarily on the act of getting together physically. It is true that some romantic authors will integrate sex scenes into the central love story, but the main aim of a romance novel is to tell a tale of an unfolding romance. Erotica is a completely different genre - one we are not focusing on during this article.

message 2: by Alycia (new)

Alycia Wow, thanks for all the info Jasmin!

message 3: by Sashana (new)

Sashana Thanks Jasmin. When I'm reading a book I have trouble trying to categorize them-which makes me feel bad considering the fact that I read so much. I'm anxiously waiting for the subgenres.

message 4: by Adrienne (new)

Adrienne What about Erotica? and Erotic Romance?

message 5: by Jasmin (new)

Jasmin (princ3ssjasmin) hmm, i'm going to look it up to make everything more detailed. :\

message 6: by Jasmin (new)

Jasmin (princ3ssjasmin) BUZZ! Updated. Sorry if things are confusing. I'm just putting things together :o

message 7: by Jasmin (new)

Jasmin (princ3ssjasmin) Chick lit?! Where do I put it?! :o

message 8: by Sashana (new)

Sashana You can put it under romance or comtemporary romance.

message 9: by Purr More (new)

Purr More (m222) I would replace Romantica with Erotic Romance and put Romantica in parentheses (or leave it as Romantica and put Erotic Romance in parens)...just my 19 cents (adjusted for inflation).

Also, you mentioned that Viking Romance is a separate book type, but it is not in the list.

I would put Chick-Lit as a separate genre. It can have romantic elements but also has strong focus on family, friends, personal empowerment. It is more under the umbrella of Women's Fiction. When you go to a bookstore it is usually shelved in the mainstream/popular fiction section instead of the romance section.

A couple more to add are Mystery and Literary Fiction.

Good work, I'm sure it took a while to gather!

message 10: by Lisarenee (new)

Lisarenee | 7659 comments Jasmin, Thanks for sharing. I was about to go looking for this information for my current work in progress project.:)

message 11: by An (new)

An Thank you for sharing!

message 12: by Kat (new)

Kat | 1198 comments This is interesting. The clarification of genres is helpful; I've been always wondering what the differences are. I don't read many adult fiction books at all but this was nice to see.

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