New Genres in Fiction

genre new genres Aug 31, 2021
Photo rights: Michael Bergen/Redfearns

Once upon a time, there were just two Genres in literature: Fiction and Non-Fiction.

But today, there are hundreds of Genres in Fiction alone with a couple dozen being mass marketed.

During Phase 1 of LAUNCH by The Write Stuff, our premier program for fiction authors, we help writers discover their Genres and SubGenres. It begins by understanding what you want to write and then a little bit about what your readers are interested in.

Start by looking at your own bookshelf: what Genres do you find? It’s not unlikely that you’re going to be interested in that which you read the most. But don’t discount some of the newer Genres of fiction available to you in today’s market. Here are just a few:

Chick Lit: Obviously literature geared toward women, this particular Genre tends to focus on the younger female reader (20s and 30s). Sometimes referred to as ‘beach reads’, Chick Lit is often light-hearted, slightly romantic in perspective, and accessible to readers of all levels. Newly emerging on the scene as a sub-sub Genre you’ll also find Granny Lit – which caters to women above age 50 but features many of the same themes as Chick Lit.

Mythopoeia: Basically, the word means “myth making” and is literature designed to create long-lasting mythic figures that take on a larger meaning beyond their printed works. The Hunger Games is a prime example but also the Percy Jackson works by Rick Riordan. Mythopoeia tends to gear toward a YA (young adult) audience but is appreciated by readers of all ages.

Fan-Fic: Did you know that EL James’ 50 Shades series began as fan fiction of the Twilight vampire series of books and movies? When she was ready to publish her first book, she just changed the names and dropped the vampire theme. What characters in the world of literature, art, music or movies inspire you and could they become the basis of your next story? Who else wants to imagine a world where John Carter and Abby Lockhart of ER became international germ fighters, or the great punk rock figures of the late 1970s transformed into superheroes? Just picture Joey Ramone flying over New York City in a gold cape and mask!

Cli-Fi: Many new forms of literature spring up as a response to the realities of the world. Cli Fi, or climate fiction, sees itself as a warning cry to current generations to make substantive environmental change. Its heroes are activists and its antagonists are eco terrorists and self-serving globalists.  Even Tom Clancy wrote Cli Fi in his 1998 novel Rainbow Six and its companion video game. Another example would be Oryx and Crake by Canadian author Margaret Atwood.

These are just a few examples of some of the newer Genres in Fiction. The truth is, you can write whatever inspires you! If you can imagine it, someone out there wants to read it.

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