I thought I would take the time to write out what my definitions of genre’s and ‘readership’ labels mean to me. There seems to be so many vastly different opinions online about what they actually are and often times I find myself getting frustrated with people labeling novels incorrectly. However, that being said obviously everyone has the right to their own opinion, I just want to share mine with you
This is part one of my definitions, and as it’ll be fairly long I’m going to break it up into at least two parts, likely three.
What do you think of my definitions, do you agree or disagree with them? If you disagree I’d love to know why!
Science Fiction; Deals with imaginative concepts, often in regards to futuristic technology, space travel, other planets and time travel. However science fiction is not limited, it can also involve aliens, vampires, zombies and werewolves. Many factors come into play when classifying creatures into the genre science fiction; i.e. a virus mutates and creates zombies, it’s a manmade mistake created by science.
Examples of science Fiction
Enders Game – Orson Scott Card
Across the Universe – Beth Revis
Dune – Frank Herbert
Feed – Mira Grant
Fantasy; Deals with imaginative concepts that are often improbable or impossible. For example, many fantasy novels include animals such as dragons, trolls and elves. Fantasy novels almost always include a realm of magic, in example characters that are able to wield the elements, heal without medicines, or call upon mystical animals for help in battles. If Vampires, Zombies, aliens or werewolves are involved in fantasy they are almost always natural and not created by man, they’ve always existed in these worlds the way the elves or hobbits have. They are also often series, it is not often that you find a standalone fantasy novel; most that I’ve come across personally have been a part of a large series.
Examples of Fantasy
The Harry Potter Series – J.K. Rowling
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy – J.R.R Tolkien
The Inheritance Cycle – Christopher Paolini
A Song of Ice and Fire – George R.R.Martin
Horror; in its essence horror is intended to scare you, to keep you up all night with the lights on and send shivers straight through to your bones. The Horror genre is usually quite dark, violent and can at times be gory. Horror can either be supernatural or non-supernatural depending on the content of the novel. This includes but is not limited too; serial killers, ghosts, poltergeists, vampires, zombies, kidnapping, psychological horror, etc.
Examples of Horror
The Shining – Stephan King
The Haunting of Hill House – Shirley Jackson
Dracula – Bram Stoker
Interview with a Vampire – Anne Rice
Young Adult; This category is a little more tricky and can at times be vague but the general rule of thumb is that young adult audience intended are between the ages of 12-18 years old. Recent studies however have shown that 55% of young adult fiction purchased is bought by adults over the age of 18.
Examples of Young Adult Fiction
The Hunger Games Trilogy –Suszanne Collins
The Delirium Trilogy – Lauren Oliver
The Fault in our Stars – John Green
Lock and Key – Sarah Dessen
New Adult; Deals primarily with protagonists between the ages of 18-25. Unlike Young Adult there is often considerably more descriptive sexual content, drug and alcohol use and more ‘real life’ issues. Despite having a genre, there are not many New Adult novels that are not contemporary, at least not that I’ve currently discovered. This is a highly HOT topic currently as it’s not clear if this is actually a clear genre, category or marketing scheme.
Examples of New Adult Fiction
Beautiful Disaster – Jamie McGuire
Slammed – Colleen Hoover
Easy – Tamara Webber
Fallen too Far – Abbi Glines