Author Info


Other Links



Author Friends

Promo Banners

Story Podcasts

Writer's Resources

Adrianna's Thesaurus

Rexie's Phyktazia

Adrianna's Blog

Adrianna's Lair


Virtual Mall

Adrianna's Fun Things


28 Genres

Fiction and Nonfiction

Compiled by Adrianna Dane (www.adriannadane.com)

from a selection of sources both on and off the Internet

Wicked Boys & Naughty Girls



Quick & Dirty Genre Reference for Writers, compiled by Adrianna Dane

Download the full updated guide, with drill down to subgenres, at Amazon.com for only $.99 (ASIN: B00CXUDI7M)

(Because I'm trying to make this available to more people through Amazon, I'm limited on the

amount of information I can provide here. Sorry about that.)

Carnal Carnivale




Story Length Table



The Genres and Subgenres

1. Action/Adventure



2. Children




3. Comedy



4. Crime



5. Diary/Journal


Tapestry of Desire


6. Drama.



7. Erotica



8. Experimental


Man Power



9. Fantasy


10. Folk Tales/Fairy Tales



11. Gothic



12. Graphic Novel



13. Historical/Epic



14. Horror




15. Inspirational



16. Literary



17. Military/War Fiction



18. Musical


Esmerelda's Lovers







Come Into My Parlor


19. Mystery

Includes a crime, detective(s) and/or private investigators, an investigation process to uncover the crime, and finally the identification of the culprit.
Subgenres include:

Amateur Detective: Nosy neighbors and inquisitive civilians get involved in an Amateur Detective story. Sometimes they are meddlers.

Caper Novel: Centered on commission of crime or scam. [Ex. Oceans Eleven]

Cozy: country houses and villages, with peaceful and genteel exteriors, are usually the setting. There is minimal violence and everything is nicely wrapped up by the conclusion.

Detective: The protagonist is usually a licensed private investigator or ex-cop who works alone or with a larger agency.

Hard-Boiled: These are gritty "noir" stories with grim details and tough, hard-nosed detectives.

Police Procedural: The protagonist is usually on the police force and the crime is solved by using the forces' resources and procedures.

Soft-Boiled: Hard-boiled infused with a sense of optimism and light humor.

Suspense: Emphasis is on action and anticipation. May be more of a psychological-based drama. Also see elements of Thrillers as well.

Thrillers: Intense excitement and anticipation. Audience left in the dark most of the time, figuring things out as the characters do. Who is just around the corner? A tendency more toward physical danger, as opposed to psychological danger.

Whodunit. A traditional or "classic" mystery, often thought of as "noir" mystery-including the classics of the thirties and forties style of writing.



20. Mainstream







Sylvie's Gift


21. Nonfiction

Nonfiction writing includes the following subgenres:

Autobiographies: The history of an individual's life and accomplishments. May be limited to specific event, time, and/or place, or more all-encompassing. The difference is that these stories are written by the person who experienced the event. Possibly written with the assistance of a second party. Self-portraits.

Biographies. Books about a person's life, or a segment of a person's life. A biography would be written by a secondary party, not the person who experienced the event. Could relate to contemporary or historical events.

Cookbooks: Related to cooking, with recipes detailed, creating menus. On the subjects of cooking, baking, mixing ingredients, in a variety of ways.

Crafts: Creating craft items, designing projects, such as embroidery, woodcrafts, ceramics, etc.

Creative Nonfiction: Hybrid of literature and nonfiction that is based on true-life events. True story dramatization. The nonfiction elements are based on facts, and the fiction elements are based on setting, scene, place, and bringing out characterization. Typically this subgenre might include Biographies, Autobiographies, Journalistic reporting. See below for definitions.

Essays: Short prose that makes a point, states an opinion, or describes an event. A Persuasive Essay may be one-sided and directed at converting the reader to a certain belief or idea. A Political essay might make a statement regarding social or political views. The primary focus would be to support and explore the social or political view, and/or to possibly consider it's short-falling as well.

History: Books focused on historical events, both world and local. American history would focus on historical events taking place in the United States; British history would focus on historical events which took place specifically related to England; World history would include books related to cultures around the world.

How-to: Self-explanatory. These books described how to do something.

Journalistic Reporting: Reports the news through creative retelling of the events as they happened rather than giving just the bare, minimum facts; a more first-hand, personal look into the events.

Memoirs: Limited autobiographies. Many times speaking of a specific event in their lives.

Music/Art/Architecture: Covering present as well as historical information on these subjects, including examples.

Persuasive. May be one-sided and directed at converting the reader to a personal POV/belief or concept.

Political: Also considered social writing,. Makes a statement regarding social or political views or ways of being. Primary focus of the work supports a social or political view or critiques it. There is an element of exploration within them.

Religion: Books within the nonfiction genre of religion will look at modern religions as well as ancient religions.

Science and Technology: A gamut of subjects withing these genres, going from natural science, to astronomy, to Internet technologies.

Self-help/Psychology/Sociology: Self-help books usually describe how to improve your life in some way, either by raising your self-esteem, increasing your health, or learning a new skill. Psychology and sociology books describe how people behave and interact.

Travel/Geography. Would include description of the terrain, the sights, the locale and customs of individual places, countries, cities, town, rural destinations, cultures, etc. Travel books would be geared toward people planning to travel, possibly with details about restaurants, hotels, local attractions. Geography would be more limited in scope in discussing terrain, relevant statistics about an area, etc.-it would not include travel planning.

True Crime: Narrative that follows the criminal's or the detective's perspective. A re-telling of events surrounding the nature of the crime.



22. Poetry/Prose




23. Pornography

Adult explicit, sexual fantasy fiction. Gritty, frank language. Written primarily for heterosexual men.


24. Romance




25. Speculative Fiction

All-inclusive term for science fiction, fantasy and horror.


The Argadian Heart Trilogy


26. Science Fiction/Futuristic










 [Also visit, http://www.listology.com/bertie/story/sub-genres-science-fiction-map-ideas-literary-list, for expansive listings that including settings, themes for Science Fiction subgenres.]

27. Western



28. Women's Fiction






The Diary of Lillian Manchester






Images of Desire



Check out these reference sources for more information.

Story Structure Architect by Victoria Lynn Schmidt, Ph.D., ISBN: 978-1-58297-325-8















The Christian Writer's Manual of Style by Robert Hudson and Shelly Townsend-Hudson, ISBN: 978-0310487715













Creative Commons License

27 Genres - Fiction and Nonfiction by Adrianna Dane is licensed under a

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.


Home Page

Return to Home Page


Stories and Articles on this Site are the original works of Adrianna Dane

Copyright 2005-2013 Adrianna Dane