Non Fiction – Articles or Books
ACADEMIC – Words for those in the academic life or those who would like to be. Philosophic, poetic, informative, essayists, etc.
INSPIRATIONAL – Chicken Soup for the Soul, Cup Of Comfort and this style – Narrative or Creative
HOW TO- Fix it, Heal it, Solve it, Make it.
MEMOIRS & BIOGRAPHY- Speak for themselves – Narrative or Creative
HISTORICAL- Local, regional, national or international – Narrative or Creative (Essays)
Easier Sells. Small Publishers often specialize in certain categories and are looking for new topics, authors. If you have a topic of national interest, large publishers are hungry for that. Don’t try to sell your own memoirs or a local personage’s biography to large publishers unless you once slept with a president, or had dealings with a mobster. Go with small regional publishers.
NARRATIVE is telling the factual story with examples, quotes, dialogue in scenes and characterizations.
CREATIVE tells the nonfiction tale in the style of a novel. Everything is factual, with dialogue and internalization of the pov character written to best fit the time, morals and opinions of the time. A good example is my book, Fly With The Mourning Dove, a 2008 WILLA Literary Award finalst in creative nonfiction.
LITERARY- Appeals to specific readers. Includes stories of depth that make one think. Presents a perspective on the human condition. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini; The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory; The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards
MAINSTREAM – May include stories of depth that make one think, but appeals to a broad spectrum of readers. Some genre authors are considered mainstream when they begin to appeal to a broader audience, such as Stephen King, (horror); Liza Gardner (romantic thriller); Nora Roberts (romance); The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks; Nineteen Minutes by Jody Picoult;
GENRE- Each specific genre appeals only to certain readers. There are many genres with sub genres.
ROMANCE: Contemporary, historical, suspense, fantasy, sci fi, mystery, paranormal
CATEGORY ROMANCE: Silhouette and Harlequin
MYSTERIES: cozies, historical, western, hardboiled, pulp, detective, crime, contemporary
WESTERN: contemporary, historical,
SCI FI, Horror, Fantasy, Military/War, Adventure, Suspense
CHRISTIAN books include almost all of the above genres with the exception of occult, horror, military/war, paranormal and erotica.
WOMEN’S Fiction: Broad spectrum stories that appeal only to women, but have many layers and subplots much like mainstream fiction. Nora Roberts,
There are sub genres under almost all of these genres. For instance: vampire and werewolf romances fall under the sub of paranormal. Under mysteries you may find a sub genre where animals solve the crimes, or over 50 characters, or the amateur detective.
Many of the lines that once were known only for romance have branched out into other genres. Because of the popularity of suspense and thrillers today, even with women readers, you will find some that are pretty gritty in a few of the romance lines, such as Mira which is a Harlequin Line.
There are also some crossovers that are selling well now. For instance historical paranormal, historical mystery, western mystery. Or using a well-known fictional figure like Sherlock Holmes when he was a young man; or a minor character in a Dickens tale and write his or her story. Recently I saw a new book on Dickens as a young man. If you can come up with a twist like that and write a terrific book with strong characters it has a good chance of selling.
Some authors have created their own genres. Patricia Cornwell, coroner/medical examiner; J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts) futuristic detective; Clive Barker and Tom Clancy, Techno Thrillers; John Grisham, Attorney at law;
With the TV popularity of the CSI Trio, Forensics and Procedurals have also carved out a new genre in the mystery/suspense line, but with these, you’d better know your stuff or be a terrific researcher.
Think of what you like to read. You’ve heard it often enough, but try writing the kind of book you like to read. I have a problem with that because I like to read so many different genres. In that case, write about what you want to know, then you’ll be intrigued with your research and write a better book.
I like this post, Velda! So many new writers struggle to understand certain writing terms and I think you've covered most of them. I also like your advice to write the kind of book that you want to read.
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