All terms

What is a Genre?

A category of artistic composition with similarities in form, style, or subject matter.

Unpacking the Mystery of Writing Genres

Genres are a writer’s compass in navigating the vast ocean of literature.

They give structure to stories, providing readers with a literary guide that can frame the plot points and signaling character traits and conflicts they can expect. In creative writing, genres refer to categories of artistic expression that share similar forms, themes, characters, and styles. Genres help writers define the tone they want to convey and the elements that make a story work.

Genres have been around for centuries, encompassing various modes and themes. They are a way for writers to connect with readers on a deeper level, as they invite us to immerse ourselves in a narrative, setting, or a sensory experience. While some writers prefer to innovate and blur the lines between genres, others opt for a more traditional and straightforward approach to storytelling, following tropes, and conventions of their chosen genre.

Genres in Action: Sightings in Literature
Mystery genre in 'The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes'

'The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is a collection of short stories that follows the investigations of the brilliant detective Sherlock Holmes, who solves seemingly impossible cases using his superb deductive skills. What makes these stories intriguing is the mystery genre, which frames each story as a puzzle to be solved, encouraging the readers to piece together the clues alongside Holmes and anticipate the big reveal.

Romance genre in 'Pride and Prejudice'

'Pride and Prejudice' by Jane Austen is a romance novel that explores the tumultuous relationship between the headstrong and independent Elizabeth Bennet and the proud and aloof Mr. Darcy. The novel follows the classic romance genre conventions, including an initial dislike between the romantic interests, a series of misunderstandings and setbacks, and a final resolution that leads to a happily-ever-after ending.