Genre tips

#AtoZChallenge: Genres–Genre Fiction

The A to Z Challenge asks bloggers to post 26 articles on a themed topic. It’s supposed to be every day except Sundays during the month of April but I did this last year, found it way to busy for the likes of me, and decided to post mine ‘about’ once a month. Yes, it’ll take me a couple of years. Sigh.

My topic, like the last two times I did the conventional approach, will be writing genres.

This genre:

Genre Fiction


Fictional works written with the intent of fitting into a specific literary genre (like one of these genres) in order to appeal to readers and fans already familiar with that genre; also referred to as Category Fiction.

Tipsa to z

  1. Choose one of the dozens (scores–or hundreds) of genres and subgenres that revolve around a theme, research its characteristics, and write about it.
  2. Write fiction that escapes reality.
  3. Don’t require deep thinking, soul analysis, or challenging of deeply-held beliefs. You may include it but don’t make it central.
  4. Do not aim for transcendency. Your story is not about ideas; it’s about action, plot, characters.
  5. Don’t try to write after thinking deep thoughts. You’ll get your novel confused with literary fiction.
  6. Themes may be bigGood vs. evil? Individual vs. Big Government? Human forgiveness. It may be central to your novel but it’s not the driving force. Every page doesn’t remind your reader that they are flawed, nasty, or small-minded.
  7. Think country music, not classical. Your genre fiction will be fun, entertaining, and escape from the world.
  8. Share opinions, but don’t get preachy.
  9. Don’t worry if your writing isn’t described as ‘elegant’, ‘lyrical’, ‘thought-provoking’, or ‘high-brow’. If it is, and you like that, you are probably a literary fiction writer.

Popular Books

I won’t even try to list popular genre fiction. Think of your favorites mysteries, thrillers, sci-fi, romantic, fantasy, historical, vampire, or another–that’s on this list!

Click for complete list of these 26 genres

Click for a complete list of all genres I’ve written about

More G 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, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, The Quest for Home, Fall 2019. You can find her tech ed books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning

41 thoughts on “#AtoZChallenge: Genres–Genre Fiction

  1. I never considered that genre fiction and literary fiction were categorically different. I guess because many unique genre fiction novels fall into the Canonicly ‘litereray’ (Dracula, Wuthering Heights, Catch 22 etc) it kind of blinds you to the general rule that they are there for fun? Haha, that rocks my world because honestly I think what I write automatically combines both, I can’t willingly give up either one for the other.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There is definitely crossover between genres, including literary and any of the popular genre fictions. I indulge in a lot of introspection with the westerns I read but it’s through the ‘show not tell’ sort of approach. They show why I should rethink my attitudes rather than lecturing me (well, that’s how I see some of the literary fiction)!


      • Yeah, I definitely agree with you there. A lot of literary fiction does try to control your reading of it, especially through an omniscient narrator. I tend to agree with them on principle and make my own decisions about characters and situations. ‘Show not tell’ brings me back to my undergraduate degree, and that works as a really good general way to separate the two in my mind. I’ve never read a Western however, I feel like I might be missing out.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Well, I got a little tricky here. I realized at a conference I attended that a lot of people don’t know that genre fiction is a type of writing that includes lots of themes. So, I decided to push that out there!


      • I used to hate country music. I wouldn’t even call it music for a time. Then we moved to Arkansas and that seemed to be all my kids listened to. Now, I love the modern stuff. (I still don’t like the twangy old stuff, though.)

        Classical? I’ve always adored that and listen to it almost daily.


  2. Jacqui,

    Unless you know the purrson above me, then it sounds a bit like a spammer.

    Am I understanding that right that genre fiction is kinda meant to be fun stuff purely for your entertainment? If so, then I’d have say, that sounds purrfect for me!

    Happy Monday and have a boogietastic week, dearie!

    Liked by 1 person

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