What if one day an edict was delivered from Washington that required us to identify ourselves by genre the same way we identify ourselves by a political party or religion. It could happen. Right? Perhaps it would be deemed to be more politically correct than identification by ethnic group.
What genre would you be?
Fiction books are traditionally divided into one major genre or classification, often with shades of another thrown in for flavor. So, which one would be the most characteristic of you? Read the descriptions below, I’m betting that you will see yourself in one or more of them.
- Do you enter a room with style and flare, every eye turned in your direction? When you speak, is it in exaggeration and hyperbole? You tell it like it is and consequences be damned. Does every innuendo lead to a world war? Gads! Such drama!
Drama- conflicts and emotion of everyday life are expressed through dialogue and action.
- Fairies live in your garden. If you focus your eyes just......so...... you can see a person’s aura. Beings from other dimensions flow through the kitchen and up the stairs. It was leprechauns that drank the saucer of milk left out on St. Patrick’s Day last. You operate in the here and now but reside somewhere else, somewhere in fantasy.
Fantasy - strange or magical settings or characters.
- Are the best, the most interesting and compelling times gone? You pay a premium price in order to get the history channel on TV and can site many fascinating facts about the first American colonies, World War I and Daniel Boone. The past is as real to you as the present, you live part time in history.
Historical Fiction – characters, events in a historical setting.
- Remember when telling ghost stories in the dark at a sleep-over was scary delicious? The thrill of walking down the wooden basement stairs in the dark, after everyone else was asleep, the icy fingers of fear that ran up your spine? You see terror around the corner in everyday life while your friends and family continue in their happy ignorance. They must be made to understand. You never left it, the horror of it all.
Horror– evokes a feeling of dread and fear, sometimes involves monsters.
- A joke for every occasion, a joke for every person. You’ve got a million of ‘em. An ordinary outing takes on a new life with you in it, everyone is swept along with your vision and has a great time, just not the time they set out to have. You are the life of the office, the spark of sizzle at the party. Keep them laughing, and do you know why clowns cry? Take care that your humor does not have a bite.
Humor – full of fun, fancy, and excitement.
- Who took the vase? You remember who has recently received fresh flowers. Where are the police cars going, full-on lights and siren? You have a scanner! Why are the curtains Always Closed in the house across the street? You will figure it out. You are a solver of mysteries, a detector of clues. You are mystery.
Mystery or detective –the investigation and solution of a crime, usually a murder.
- A glance from your liquid eyes sends ripples through the gathering. You extend an arm and with a subtle shrug of your shoulders convey the need for a tall, cool drink. The drink is rushed into your hand by a secret admirer. With a sip and a smile, you turn and disappear into the woods. You are poetry.
Poetry – verses that rhyme or don’t rhyme and that create an emotional response.
- Is your telescope your most treasured possession, and do you watch for UFOs departing from the far side of the moon? Do you have a pretty good idea what their base would look like? Do you recognize tribbles as a bonafide life form and is your favorite radio station Coast to Coast? You are at least a Trekkie, and a member of the science fiction genre.
Science fiction -futuristic stories, usually set on other planets.
- Little League game on Saturday, church on Sunday, Monday morning coffee and then drive to work, in the evening come home to eat and watch a little TV - - - - - times five. Little League on Saturday, church on Sunday, Monday coffee and work. Your life is a short story - snap out of it.
Short story– fiction within a word count so brief that it supports no subplots.
- So you caught that fish that was t.h.i.s big! You’ve soared over the Rocky Mountains in a hang glider while you were working undercover for the CIA, and you deep-sea dived into the Marianas trench. Riiiight. I know you, you are a tall tale!
Tall tale– heroes who regularly do the impossible with ease.
- Church isn’t just for Sunday. You live your life safely cradled in the hand of God, and you see the Lord’s grand plan as clearly as the headlines in the evening news. Your week consists of hard work, family, bible studies and outreach to others less fortunate. You are an inspiration.
Inspirational - faith-based themes.
- Women, do you own a lacy negligee, silk sheets, satin pillows and a Gone With the Wind cookie jar? Men, is your ideal woman wearing a white frilly blouse open at the neck and a long translucent skirt with boots? Do you wait every day for true love to swoop in and sweep you off your feet, and hope for a blissful future with Miss or Mr. absolutely right, with a few rough edges? Not a problem, you will turn those rough edges into buttery-smooth curves. You are romance.
Romance - attraction and love wrapped up in a happy ending.
- Do you own a horse? As a child did you rope your siblings for practice, and do you still rope things? Do you own a cowboy hat and know what chaps are? Howdy partner, you are a western.
Western- set in the American West at a time when individualistic, heroic cowboys rode the wide plains.
There are more types of genre, many more, depending on who you ask, and subtypes within each. These are some of the main ones - and if you don’t see yourself in one of them you might do a little research and find one that fits. The roll call is coming, stand and identify.