Genre tips

Today’s #AtoZChallenge: Inspirational

A to Z Challenge asks bloggers to post every day except Sundays during the month of April on a thematic topic–nothing else. This year, I’ll be covering writing genres.

Today’s genre:

atoz-iInspirational (or Religious) Genre


Books in the inspirational genre may be fiction or non-fiction. They contain stories of people who overcome adversity or reach new levels of understanding that inspire and encourage the reader to do the same. The books are meant to uplift as well as entertain.

a to zTips

  1. The inspiration genre requires more than just a positive character; it requires encouragement and the ability to “inspire” others with the realization they can do great things and be better people.
  2. Highlight people overcoming adversity or reaching new levels of understanding.
  3. You might want to base the inspiration in religion or faith.
  4. Self-help might be included in this genre.
  5. Decide whether you are writing propaganda, parable, or an honest story. Are you trying to persuade or inspire?
  6. Don’t use Deux ex Machina. It becomes self-serving in this genre.
  7. Show respect in the story for everyone, including those who don’t share the religious or faith-based beliefs that are central to your story.

Popular Books

  1. Born on a Blue Day by Daniel Tammett
  2. Chicken Soup for the Soul by Jack Canfield
  3. Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
  4. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  5. I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
  6. Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
  7. Night by Elie Wiesel
  8. The Power of Positive Thinking by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale
  9. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Click for complete list of genres

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, and the thriller, To Hunt a Sub. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer,  a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning. The sequel to To Hunt a Sub, Twenty-four Days, is scheduled for May 2017. Click to follow its progress.

43 thoughts on “Today’s #AtoZChallenge: Inspirational

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  4. Done right, I absolutely love this genre. I’ve wanted to write in this genre. But the challenge is to sound inspirational and not preachy. It’s tricky. And to tell the story, with an eye toward inspiration and story. I admire the writers who are able to do it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I read How to Win Friends quite a few times when I started in business. It’s pretty good, though I wouldn’t have put it under ‘inspirational’. More like ‘how-to’.

      Of course, I DID put it under inspirational. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. There are many books that I’ve read and enjoyed and in which I find succour and inspiration. If I turn around to look at my bookshelf, I see Atul Gawande: Being Mortal; Katie Roiphe: In Praise of Messy Lives; Jonathan Sacks: To Heal a Fractured World.. to mention a few. And plenty on my Kindle by wonderful writers eg Jean Raffa, Elaine Mansfield – lovely post thanks Jacqui.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Interesting point about deus ex machina – would ruin the premise.
    I had the honor of hearing Elie Wiesel speak many years ago. A very quiet spoken man with a compelling story. So many people know his book Night but many don’t know how many other books he wrote.

    All the Chicken Soup titles are uplifting.

    I’m enjoying your A to Z work, Jacqui.

    Liked by 2 people

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