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NaNoWriMo Day 26 - Categorising and Genres

Tuesday 26th November - Categorising and Genres

Books have, and always will be, categorised into types. It helps writers and readers succeed.


It's important for readers and writers to understand a little bit about genres. It means that a writer can tailor their work to readers, and it means that a reader can have a good guess of whether they'll enjoy a certain book.

There are certain tropes that people expect from certain genres, so make sure you know what they are before categorising your book. For example, if you're writing Romance then you need to make sure that the couple get together at the end of the book. Oh, and they've got to have some troubles along the way too, of course!

By all means, kick back against the trend and defy stereotypes, but if you don't stick to certain tropes then you may end up with disgruntled readers.

Important Notes


  • A book can be more than one genres. I categorise Taking Wing as Fantasy Adventure, therefore combining the genres of Fantasy and Adventure.
  • Middle grade, young adult or new adult are not genres. They're age categories. There are still different genres inside these categories.


I have recently been teaching my class of P4/5 about different genres, and it has really helped me peel back the genres to the bare bones. This is how I described some of the main genres to the kids:


  • Fantasy is something that cannot happen
  • Science Fiction is something that cannot happen...yet
  • Comedy is a funny story
  • Adventure is an exciting story, often involving a quest
  • Horror is a story that's designed to be scary
  • Fairytale is a magical story, often with a happily-ever-after ending
  • Romance is a story about a couple with a happily-ever-after ending
Of course, this is only a smallish list of a few genres. The literary world is full of fascinating genres.

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