Genre tips

Today’s #AtoZChallenge: Genres–Saga

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:



Saga (family): chronicles the lives and doings of a family or a number of related or interconnected families over a period of time. 

Tipsa to z

  1. Choose a family that has passions and experience shifting fortunes. Nobody wants to read about a comfortably middle-class group of placid North Dakota hog farmers.
  2. Cover two-three generations comfortably.
  3. Use the passing of generations to show how times change over the years, culturally and politically.
  4. Usually, the central family character is a woman.
  5. Show how life was good for them when the book opens and then comes crashing down, providing the crises they must overcome throughout the saga.
  6. Include a love interest who is tempestuous and wildly inappropriate.
  7. Family members must die, be horrible people, and/or ruin the family, all of which the family ultimately overcomes.
  8. The joy of reading a family saga is not living their lives but watching them overcome problems.
  9. The heroine should be put through the ringer but ultimately experience a happy ending.
  10. Because this is related to historic fiction, include authentic details about the setting, characters, style of speaking, and more.

Popular Books

  1. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  2. Evergreen by Belva Plain
  3. The Godfather by Mario Puzo
  4. The Immigrants by Howard Fast
  5. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  6. Raintree County by Ross Lockridge, Jr.
  7. Roots by Alex Haley
  8. The Sagas of Icelanders
  9. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough

Click for complete list of  2018 A to Z genres

More S Genres:

If you’d like to help with my book launch in June, please sign up at this link.


If you’d like to subscribe to my Writing Tips, Book Reviews, and More newsletter, sign up here.


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.

73 thoughts on “Today’s #AtoZChallenge: Genres–Saga

  1. Pingback: #AtoZChallenge: Genres–Scientific Fiction |

  2. Pingback: #AtoZChallenge: Genres–Satire | WordDreams...

  3. Oh my gosh! A cool article. I’m amazed at how slow your website came up on my computer. You have really opened my mind to varying views on the subject with helpful and solid content. You should be incredibly proud of your work. Colors seem way brighter when you are around. Other then that, great post!


  4. Your A to Z gets more interesting and fun every day, Jacqui.

    The House of the Spirits by Isabelle Allende, The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, The Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison, and The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy are some of my all time favorites in this genre which I’ve always loved.

    James Michener is kinda in a category by himself as he always begins with a massive prologue telling the history of the place of the title (Hawaii,) but he might fit into saga as well.

    I wonder if semi-autobiographical is considered a genre?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes to the Godfather, although I’ve seen all the movies I’ve never read the book! Now I have to add that. When I was a teen I spent a summer reading the John Jakes series about the Kent Family.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Hi Jacqui – Sagas can be so interesting … I’ve just read one (one book) on a family that settled here and opened up Vancouver Island … and I need to read Sarum … so much can be learnt – or the storyline can just take one off with the family itself … I prefer a bit of history with mine!! Cheers Hilary

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Nora Roberts writes a good saga. I particularly love this genre because, by the time you’ve finished, you start to feel like one of the family! Plus, you get to spend time with favoured characters again and again… 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

What do you think? Leave a comment and I'll reply.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.