Пробный (А.В. Эйвазова) - Let's talk about literary genres


Let's talk about literary genres 

Genre in general is a style or category of art, music, or literature.

In literature, genre controls what author writes and how they write it. It describes the style and focus of the novel they write. Genres give authors blueprints for different types of stories.

Do you have a favourite literary genre? - anything in fiction

Although there are now a huge variety of genres and subgenres, here we are going to discuss 7 following ones: romance, mystery/crime, suspence/thriller, science fiction, fantasy, young adult and family saga.

Before we get into it let’s take a quick look at what a novel is:

What is your all time favorite book or novel?

A book here has just a broader meaning than a novel, in case the favorite book may be nonfiction, for example the autobiography of a famous person.

Without further ado, what is a romance?

So, where did the modern romance novel come from? We've had heart eyes for love stories for millenia. But let's look at a few authors whose influence on the genre is the most profound: Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters. Well, Charlotte and Emily, anyway. Anne Bronte didn't have time for that. Though the genre did not yet exist, Jane Austen was basically writing beat-for-beat what we see in most modern romance stories: i.e, light-hearted love stories wrapped in witty social commentary.  And then there were Charlotte and Emily Bronte, whose stories feature moody heroines dissatisfied  and/or bored with the roles society has handed down to them, colliding with their equally moody and misunderstood heroes, with a lot of ruin and angst along the way.

Modern representatives of this genre that you may have heard about are Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary and the writings of Sarah Jio.

The elements of the romance are also widely represented in other genres, for example as a love line somehow intertwined with the main plot.

Mystery or crime novel

These are also known as ‘whodunits’ (a colloquial elision of "Who [has] done it?"). The central issue is a question that must be answered, an identity revealed, a crime solved. This novel is characterized by clues leading to rising tension as the answer to the mystery is approached. 

That inside of the house had to be scarier than the outside and she had to go out and save her sister. So she, yeah that's right she had to be pushed and pulled. Yeah, the pulling didn't just do it cause she would'vejust called the police. Which is one of the biggest problems in writing a mystery novel, why doesn't she just call the police.

Notable authors who have written in the past in the mystery / crime genre are Agatha Christie, Edgar Allan Poe, Arthur Conan Doyle etc. You can find modern books of this genre from authors such as Jo Nesbø (Harry Hole series), Gillian Flynn (Sharp objects, Gone girl), Tess Gerritsen (Rizzoli & Isles series) and many others.


A character in jeopardy dominates these stories. This genre involves pursuit and escape. It is filled with cliffhangers and there are one or more ‘dark’ characters that the protagonist must escape from, fight against, or best in the story.

The threats to the protagonist can be physical or psychological, or both. The setting is integral to the plot. This is often described as a gripping read. 

It is fun just to write a good old-fashioned thriller, suspense novel, without the heavy legal issues.

Good representatives of this genre are The Troop by Nick Cutter (Craig Davidson), A stranger in the house by Shari Lapena, The girl on the train by Paula Hawkins, Misery by Stephen King etc.

Science Fiction

Also known as sci-fi/SF. This Genre incorporates any story set in the future, the past, or other dimensions. The story features scientific ideas and advanced technological concepts. Writers basically build new worlds in their books. The setting usually defines the plot. Often stories have series of books rather than one book. 

I am a huge sci-fi geek, I love science fiction, I love watching anything that's science fiction, reading anything that's science fiction. If it has a robot I probably will be into it.

Famous books of this genre - 1984 by George Orwell, Dune by Frank Herbert, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky etc.


These stories deal with kingdoms as opposed to sci-fi, which deals with universes. Writers here also spend plenty of time on world building. Myths, otherworldly magic-based concepts, and ideas characterize these books. They frequently take cues from historical settings.

Fantasy fiction enjoyed a surge of mainstream popularity in the 1960s - and the domain of swords and sorcery also provided the perfect avenue for interactive exploration. Dungeons and Dragons in 1974 brought fantasy to table-top gaming, formalising the characters, classes, combat and creatures necessary to craft an imaginary world.

Most popular fantasy fiction books today are The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling, A Game of Thrones series by George R.R. Martin, The Witcher series by Andrzej Sapkowski and many others.

Young adult

Young Adult (YA) books are written, published, and marketed to adolescents and young adults. These are generally coming-of-age stories, and often cross into the fantasy and science fiction genres. YA novels feature diverse protagonists facing changes and challenges. 

And then came the moment we've all been waiting for, and by we,I mean the 30 people in the audience who care about young adult literature.
I don't read or talk about YA as much as I used to.

This genre has become more popular with the success of novels like The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, and Twilight by Stephenie Meyer.

Family Saga

These stories are about two or more generations of a family. Plots revolve around things like businesses, properties, adventures, and family curses. Stories are primarily historical, often bringing the resolution in contemporary settings. 

But, I did think think it was really important to do something else, do something different. So, after the Fallen Angels series came to its natural conclusion, I went to my publisher and said, "I have this idea...and it's Dynasty, and it's Dallas, its Knots Landing, It's Downton Abbey in the new south, its.."And she said, "Don't use the word family saga, no one will ever buy it." and I was like--

Family Saga books that you might want to check out - The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea, The Matchmaker of Périgord by Julia Stuart and The Water of the Hills by Marcel Pagnol

Finally, we need to remember that genre guidelines become less and less strict, but a common understanding of their difference can make it easier for us to choose what we want to read.

Bye, have a great time!
Специализируемся на развитии навыков говорения и понимания реальной речи на слух. Используем только оригинальные материалы.