Types of Fiction Genres

Often, we read or come across various types of fiction novels that fall under some or the other fiction genres. If you are an avid reader, you could have tried reading at least two types of fiction genres. In the fiction genres, adventure, romance, sci-fi and mystery genres are popular. But it depends on individual taste, what genre of fiction books you like to read.

Types of Fiction – Horror, Fantasy, Adventure, Mystery and more.

What do we mean by Types of Fiction Genres?

Books either increase our knowledge or entertain us with stories that give us some message to think over. Genres are different types of books, which are informative nonfiction or recreational fiction books, though sometimes, it becomes difficult to decide the category. 

  • Fiction is imaginary.
  • Nonfiction is real. 

So, fiction books are literary works that are made up or written with the author’s imagination. In this article, you will read about twelve types of fiction genres 

12 Types of Fiction Genre

The books that have stories made up by the author are under the fiction genre. These have imaginary events and characters. Yet, in fiction books, there could be references to some historical events, people or cultures that are real but overall the work is fiction. The purpose of a fiction book author is to entertain. Sometimes stories have morals and messages that you can recognize if you evaluate the story with questions like what, why, how, which, etc.

Authors of the fiction genre use many techniques for writing fiction, such as creating characters, settings, problems and solutions. There are dramatic events, and dialogues in fiction stories even as readers read about the feelings of the story characters. Overall, it’s an emotional experience to read fiction stories. 

1. Fantasy – Types of Fiction

These are stories that have exaggerated events and characters with magical powers. The stories can have fairies, monsters, evil characters who cast magic spells, mermaids, magic wands, flying brooms, and other elements. Fantasy stories are not only meant for kids but there are several books which even adults enjoy reading. 

For example, in Jack and the Beanstalk, the creeper plant grows tall till it reaches the sky.  J.K. Rowlings Harry Potter series and Before the Coffee gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi are fantasy fiction for adults.

2. Humour or Comedy – Types of Fiction

Stories and books that amuse, bring a giggle or a smile, are of the humour genre. Humour could be slapstick, irony, comedy of errors, satire, witty, intelligent, dark humour,  sophisticated or low. The comedy genre can include political satire novels for grownups, as well as a comedy of errors.

For example, the Amelia Bedelia series for kids is a comedy of errors. Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome is a classic comedy and adventure fiction story about three men who take a boat ride on the river Thames to forget their problems. In exchange for forgetting old problems, there’s a comic encounter with new problems at every turn.

Also read article

list of types of fiction

3. Adventure – Types of fiction

Most people are familiar with this genre simply because almost every school-going kid reads adventure fiction while growing up. There’s a rush of adrenalin and thrill in reading adventure books. Adventure happens when the characters in the story go on a mission, or a situation and events with some element of danger, suspense and thrill.

For example, Enid Blyton’s Famous Five series have an adventure that makes kids read multiple titles from the series. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, Sahyadri Adventure Koleshwar Secret by Deepak Dalal.

4. Historical – Types of fiction 

This genre of fiction refers to a story set in a time more than 20 years ago. Some elements of culture, setting, events, and people could be real so the story can seem convincing. But it’s fiction when some dialogues, events, people, etc., are imaginary. The work is the creative imagination of the author and a mixture of real and unreal.

For example, the historical fiction The Queen by Chitra Divakaruni. Ahimsa By Supriya Kelkar.

Also read article Historical Fiction books from India for independent readers

5. Mystery fiction

Whodunit stories like murder mysteries and other crime stories that have suspense and drama of some sort but get resolved in the end are in this category. Each character is a suspect and the author makes it seem that each character has a reason to commit the crime.

Very often the main character is or acts as a detective who solves the mystery step by step while drawing logical conclusions. Mystery fiction can be detective stories that focus on solving the puzzle or suspense.

For example, Sherlock Holmes stories.

6. Realistic fiction

These stories seem realistic because the author does not exaggerate emotions and actions in the story. Though they are made-up stories, the feelings, dilemmas or situations are relatable to the readers because such events or emotions could have happened to them or others.

It is a type of writing that tells stories that could have happened to real people or animals in real life. The things in these stories are like things that happen in real life and the characters in these stories act like real people. Realistic fiction comprises stories with plots that show real-life events or problems, like falling in love, getting married, looking for a job, etc.

For example, The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga, and R. K. Narayan’s The Guide is a realistic portrayal of Indian culture and the transformation of a tour guide into a spiritual guru. 

7. Horror fiction

People read horror stories because they like the thrill of being scared. Horror is a type of writing that is meant to scare, startle, shock, or even turn people off. The main goal of a horror book is to make the reader feel scared by using scary images, themes, and situations. Story and characters are just as important to the horror genre as mood and setting. When a horror story looks into the unknown, it often shocks and provokes dread.

For example, Ghosts of the Silent Hills by Ruskin Bond

8. Folktales fiction

Stories which have been told from one generation to the next, usually by word of mouth are called folktales. Myths, tall tales, legends, fables, and fairy tales are all types of folktales, but they are not the only ones. The places in these kinds of stories could be real or made up. These stories are written in a casual, informative way and sometimes they teach a moral. 

They are a valuable way to share information, history, and knowledge. Folktales could reflect moral culture and customs that are passed on to the next generation. This way folktales have a cohesive effect and bring a geographical area together, sharing a common culture.

For example, Folktales of India

9. Fairytale fiction

These are stories of fairies, magic wands, dwarfs, and fantasy land. Fairytale stories are meant for children and have an imaginary and exaggerated fairyland where goblins, elves, humans and animals exist with special magical powers. These stories are also passed on for generations and are documented in books since the last century.

For example, Thumbelina and Cinderella. 

10. Science fiction

Stories that have scientific aspects to the fictional storyline like the time machine, space ships, aliens, inventions, medical crimes or some such scientific angle to it are science fiction. 

For example, Genesis by Robin Cook and The Martian by Andy Weir

11. Mythology fiction

This genre is specific to any geographical area or culture in which the mythology originates. Yet, the author lends their twist to the mythological stories and makes them a newly evolved version that is not the same as the original mythology. 

Oftentimes, mythological fiction may also seem like historical fiction. Some authors tell mythological fiction by reimagining mythology from the perspective of a mythological personality. Authors add their imagined events, dialogues and plot to these stories. Yet, these stories carry a thought process, philosophy, and culture that is original to the mythology.

For example, The Shiva Trilogy by Amish Tripathi and The Hidden Hindu by Akshat Gupta. 

12. Romance fiction

When the fiction story has a plot and theme of romance, it is romantic fiction. The ending could be happy or tragic, yet there could be historical layers, political backdrop, mature romance, teenage romance, LGBT romance, fantasy, or vampire, in romance fiction.

For example, in A touch of Eternity by Durjoy Datta and It Starts With Us by Collen Hoover.

Closing lines

This article enumerates the fiction genres and types of books you could read, though you could have your favourite genres. Do write in the comments below about which favourite genre of fiction novels you like to read. So whether you are an avid reader or a budding author, you could explore other types of fiction to read or write.

From mysteries to romance to sci-fi, there are a huge number of fiction books with interesting characters and stories. If you like to read or have ever thought about becoming a writer, you might find it helpful to learn more about the different types of fiction genres.

Also read other articles

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