Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Defining Genres by Diana Flegal with Eddie Jones

This week I had the privilege to be part of the faculty at the Blue Ridge “Autumn in the Mountains” Novel Retreat held at Lifeway’s Ridgecrest Conference center. Today and next week I will be sharing material (with permission) from notes I took while listening to several conference speakers.

Eddie Jones, founder and Publisher of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, and award winning author, facilitated a workshop this week on defining genres. Since authors sometimes question what category their title falls under, I thought this list might be helpful.

Romance verses a Love Story

Romance: the developing love relationship between a boy and girl, facing obstacles, ending happily. Boy eventually gets the girl.

Examples: An Affair to Remember/ You’ve Got Mail/ The Caretakers Son by Yvonne Lehman

Love Story:   A journey of falling in love ended by tragic deadly circumstances.

Examples: Love Story/ Romeo and Juliet/ The Notebook/ Titanic/ Gone With the Wind

Mystery verses Suspense

Mystery: The solving of a puzzle by an amateur or professional sleuth. The Dead body shows up in the first chapter.  Several suspects, all knew the victim. Often has a surprise ending.

Examples: Murder She Wrote/ The Cat Who series by Lilian Jackson Braun/ Castle  

Suspense: There might be a body or not. But there is a crime to solve. The protagonist’s (detective/sleuth) life is continually threatened.   The reader is exposed to information   the protagonist is not yet aware of causing suspense for the reader.

Examples: No Where to Turn by Lynette Eason/While You Were Sleeping/ The Fugitive

Speculative/ Fantasy/ Science Fiction

Speculative: Life the way it could be if…

Examples: E. T./ Enoch by Alton Gansky/ The Day the Earth Stood Still

Fantasy: The author creates a new world but brings into it present day rules.

Examples: Lord of the Rings/ Harry Potter/ The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Science Fiction: The writer creates a new world in a different galaxy.  Has a lot to do with science or technology.

Examples: The Matrix, Star Wars/ 1984/The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells


Impress your friends the next time there is a lull in the conversation. "Hey, did you know Nicolas Sparks is NOT a romance author?"













Wendy Macdonald said...

Thank you, Diana, for helping me settle the genre question once and for all concerning my manuscript. I needed to read this.

Blessings ~ Wendy ❀

Diana Flegal said...

Glad it helped Wendy :-)

Linda Glaz said...

Good post that I wish a lot of folks would read!