Genre tips

Today’s #AtoZChallenge: Genres–Opera

The A to Z Challenge asks bloggers to post every day except Sundays during the month of April on a thematic topic. This year, my second year with A to Z, I’ll cover writing genres.

Today’s genre:

Opera (Space Opera)


Space Opera: an adventure science-fiction story

Tipsa to z

  1. Space opera consists of romance/adventure tales which incorporate advanced technology or space travel and are NOT a commentary on today’s society.
  2. Space operas tend to be more plot-driven than other genres.
  3. Style and Mood are staunchly traditional.
  4. Characters explore hitherto unknown places.
  5. Story pays attention to the continuity between past and future.
  6. Story includes a pinch of reality with melodrama and some crazy ideas.
  7. You don’t need to worry too much about logic or literacy.
  8. The Earth should be in peril.
  9. There must be a quest, a hero who confronts aliens and exotic creatures, a female protagonist, and a dark villain.
  10. Everything must work out in the end.

Popular Books

  1. Cassastar by Alex J. Cavanaugh
  2. Dune by Frank Herbert
  3. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  4. Foundation by Isaac Asimov
  5. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  6. Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke
  7. Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein
  8. Hyperion by Dan Simmons

Click for complete list of  2018 A to Z genres

More O Genres:


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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, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the upcoming Born in a Treacherous Time. 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.


69 thoughts on “Today’s #AtoZChallenge: Genres–Opera

  1. Pingback: #AtoZChallenge: Genres–Occult |

  2. Pingback: #AtoZChallenge: Genres–Owner’s Manual | WordDreams...

  3. Pingback: Genres A to Z: O is for Owner’s Manual – Today's Author

  4. Never thought about operas – space or otherwise. Good thinking! A few years back I started a novel which was going to include the cake recipe that won the contest in the story. Before I finished writing the book three others had come out with the same idea! Your idea with the music is not far-fetched at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh that’s depressing. Because I take forever to write a book, bits of all three of my novels have shown up in other places. The phrase “Katie bar the door”–I thought was so fresh and retro, suddenly showed up in several thrillers. I still left it in mine.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ha ha – I thought you meant actual opera, and I was expecting tips like, “Love affairs must end tragically,” “At least three people must die,” and “Heroes must be tenors while villains must be baritones.” But your tips 6 and 7 would certainly still apply.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Another genre with which I’m not familiar, though I’m very familiar with Hitchhiker and have read all of Douglas Adams’ work, at the impetus of my son who adored the series. We always considered it science fiction. Maybe what makes it space opera is that the book – and all Adams’ works – are really funny in an insightfully sad way. They laugh at themselves. Many of the people I know who write science fiction insist their work is only one little rocket ship away from being absolute science fact, and that everything in their stories is almost, nearly, so close, to being true. Maybe science fiction writers can’t laugh at themselves whereas space opera writers can. The rocket ship that landed in the drink isn’t nearly as spectacular as the one that landed on the moon, though failures lead to eventual success.

    Are you surprised that a description of a genre can generate such discussion? The power of language, right? I’m really enjoying this series, Jacqui. It’s fun to read your posts and everyone’s replies.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Many of these are in the genre scifi but the subgenre Space Opera. That way, those who love this style can find it easily.

      I’m happy that writers have such interest in all the varied genres. Not surprised because we are inquisitive by nature, aren’t we?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Jacqui,

    Operas would bore me I think. I rarely like listening to it except on the rarest of occasions. But, ‘Space Opera’ is this the same? Is a story that’s set to mewsic? How on earth does one read a lyrical work? Maybe, it’s too early for me to think about this. I need some coffee. I’m sorry, I’m sorry. Why do I even attempt to comment before my first cup of Joe? *big sigh* I did stop by last night but had some funky issues with the internet and then got sidestepped with the dinner thing. Thanks for visiting my A2Z iPad Art Sketch of a big-eyed owl post yesterday. Happy A2Zing!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Jacqui – glad you mentioned Alex’ Space Opera ‘CassaStar’ … that was a great read – as to the follow ups … I wonder if it’s because some Opera has some wonderful full bodied music to it – sending one mesmerically into space and back … no idea – and I haven’t read the others … cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve always been curious about what constitutes a space opera but never investigated it. I did read, and enjoy, Hyperion many years ago. But I’m embarrassed to admit how many times I tried to read the Foundation trilogy without success.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Finding your blog for the first time because you left a comment on another blog. Amazed at the breadth of all your work and activity. Congratulations! Catching up on your #Challenge posts. For a writer, a good survey of genres that are available. If you have time or interest, my theme this year is BOOKSTORES, their architecture, location, and the good people who sell books. One of my passions. Hope to see you at one of the stores this April.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This genre is new to me. As an opera lover, I’m intrigued as to how it came by the name. You’ve listed one of my favourite books, the one in which we learn that 42 is the answer to life, the universe and everything! They should compose an opera about it!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh, so NOT my genre. I loved Enders Game but never managed to make my way through Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy despite repeated efforts and exhortations from friends claiming it was the best book they’d ever read. How about you? Is this a genre that you personally enjoy, Jacqui?

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s about categorizing so readers can find you more easily. For example, my historic fiction would be lost in the wealth of novels in that genre but by calling it ‘prehistoric fiction’ (a subgenre of historic), it’s easy to identify and choose.

      Well, we’ll see how that works!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Very interesting task you set writers. I have seen many operas and enjoyed most. Some have been outstanding. To write one? Well….the world in peril, true enough.
    I will look forward to what comes out of this. Is there going to be musicians involved?

    Liked by 1 person

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