Friday, July 22, 2011

Genre Definitions

I saw a great sign today posted at a church:
Honk if you love Jesus. Text while driving if you want to meet Him.

Isn’t that great?

Now on to business. As I was searching through the lists of agents that might be interested in my writing, I came across several genres that I wasn’t familiar with. I thought there might be other writers out there who might be confused as well, here are some definitions from Writer’s Market. These are just a basic definition.

Classic Mystery, the whodunit: A crime is solved…mostly murders. All the clues are available to the reader.

Amateur detective: Detective is not a pro.

Courtroom drama: Takes place primarily in a courtroom. Protagonist is usually an attorney trying to prove her client’s innocence.

Cozy: Frequently features a female protagonist. Less violence. Protagonist usually quirky or eccentric. Plot is often wrapped up in a final scene rather than the detective identifying the murder and explaining what happened.

Espionage: International spy novel.

Heists and capers: The crime is the focus. Its planning and execution are detailed. There is one obvious leader of the group.

Historical: Emphasis is on setting and details. Research is very important.

Juevenile/young adult: written for 8-12 age group. Or 12+ age group. The protagonist is the same age as the reader. No graphic violence.

Medical thriller: Involving doctors or medical professionals involved in a medical treatment or can be a patient, family or friends who uncover a plot and try to bring down the villain.

Police procedurals: Conflict between the detective’s partners or his or her superiors is the most common plot.

Private detective: When described as hard boiled, violence is more prominent, characters are darker and there is open resentment toward law enforcement.

Suspense/thrillers: Deals with the intricacies of the crime; what motivated it and how the villain is caught and brought to justice. The crime may not involve a murder. May be a threat to the global economy or technology gone wrong.

Technothriller: These are replacing the espionage novels and feature technology as an integral part of the plot.

Woman in jeopardy: Focus is on the woman or her children that are currently at risk because of murder or other crime that was committed.

Next time we will look at the categories under romance….my favorite ;)

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