Friday, January 24, 2014

Pick Your Fiction Genre

Whether you're a reader or writer, you most likely have preferences for certain genres. I prefer reading romance, southern women's fiction, and quirky mysteries. Occasionally I enjoy a gun-slinging western as long as there's a strong romantic interest in the story.

Most of the genres can be written in either contemporary or historical times. Also, futuristic and time travel stories have been around for quite a while and have gained momentum over recent years. Publishers of Christian fiction have embraced many of these genres to provide readers what they want with a Christian worldview.

I'm sometimes asked to define genres, so I thought that might be a good thing to do here:

Romance – In a romance novel, you can expect a relationship between a man and a woman that begins early in the book and progresses as you read. There will be one or more obstacles that drive a wedge between the couple, but in the end, love conquers all. Many romances have strong secondary characters and subplots.

Fantasy and Science Fiction – Fantasy fiction involves world building of an alternate universe, often with characters that are magical or creatures with human-like traits. Science fiction typically has a setting or conflict that revolves around science or technology. Sometimes you'll find an overlapping of fantasy and science fiction, but not always. Although almost anything goes in fantasy and science fiction, readers expect consistency throughout the story or series.

Mystery and Thriller – A mystery novel involves an unknown element that isn't disclosed until the end of the book. A thriller creates excitement through suspense. In both mysteries and thrillers, the author will plant clues as the story unravels, using an amateur sleuth, detective, or someone whose life may be in danger to solve the case and to bring closure to the story.

Western – Typically set in the late 1800s, these stories have traditionally taken place in the western states. However, I've seen western-themed stories set in other states. You're likely to see ranches, saloons, jailhouses, and Native American villages. Readers know from the beginning that the good guy will win and the bad guy will get what's coming to him.

Women's Fiction – In women's fiction, the main character is almost always a woman who faces issues that are relatable to other women. The author's goal is to take readers on a journey as the character learns and develops through mistakes and missteps. The ending doesn't need to be happy, but it should have some degree of satisfaction. You'll often find romance or maybe even a touch of mystery in these books that are written for a female audience.

Mainstream Fiction – Mainstream fiction is difficult to describe because it doesn't have the constraints of a genre. Often a genre blend, you'll find a broader scope of elements that make the story seem bigger than life. These are typically the books that hit the bestseller lists.

This is a partial list because there are too many genres and subgenres to describe in a blog. Some others include Amish/Mennonite, comedy, suspense, horror, allegory, gothic, family saga, tragedy, and literary.

What genre do you prefer to read or write?

Coming Soon!

The first book (a romance) in my Uptown Belles series, Dixie Belle, will be released in May 2014. Preorder now at Amazon, and you'll be guaranteed the lowest price between now and then. Other places you can order this book include Barnes and Noble, Books a, and Cokesbury.

In book one of the Uptown Belles series, sparks fly when Cissy Hillwood arrives in New York City from her Alabama hometown and meets her uncle’s fiercest competitor.

SERIES DESCRIPTION: In this fish-out-of-water contemporary romance series, three Southern belles living and working in New York City develop a friendship based on their fondness and homesickness for the South. Although they’re different from each other in many ways, they share a love for the South and faith in Christ. And they each fall victim to Cupid, one at a time and when they least expect it. At least they have each other for venting, laughing with, and…shopping.


Cherie Burbach said...

Can't wait to read the new book. I love that cover.

Debby Mayne said...

Thanks, Cherie! Charisma has a great production team!

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

Yes, Debbie, I'm anxiously awaiting this series. And yes, Charisma has a great production team.

Beth Shriver said...

Congrats on your book release Debby!

Debby Mayne said...

Thanks, Beth! I'm looking forward to seeing where it lands in May.

Lane Hill House said...

Historical Fiction is my very favorite genre. I love to read about days before, beyond what we would have learned in school. I like the immigrant stories coming through Ellis Island as my ancestors did; and Mail-Order Bride and Orphan Train stories. So much bravery and daily living trusting the Lord ~ incorporate the unknown in your lives; His golden adventures!
Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House

Terrance Leon Austin said...

Hi Debbie,
Thanks for giving insite on the different genres. I'm learning that Christian Fiction doesn't have to have a scripture reference in every chapter. Also, some of the best stories are those that entertain as well as inspire.
Bless you and your new upcoming book release this year.

Terrance Leon Austin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Debby Mayne said...

Kathleen, I agree with you, and I think that historical fiction is a fun way to learn history.

Debby Mayne said...

Thank you, Terrance!