Genre: Fantasy, Romance and Mystery

Welcome back to another lesson of The Writing Apothecary.

Today we’re going to look at three different sub-genres: Fantasy, Romance and Mystery. If you’re wondering why these three? Well, fantasy is my jam, I really love everything about it and it’s the genre I know the most about. You know the age-old advice of write what you know applies here, ha! 

First, did you know that it was a genre of speculative fiction? It features magical and supernatural elements that don’t exist in the real world. Some writers, like myself, like to use the modern world and add fantasy elements and some are inspired by myth and folklore. Fantasy is different and distinguished from science fiction and horror by the absence of scientific and macabre themes, but that’s not to say that you can’t have the macabre in fantasy. 

The different kinds of fantasy that are named (and don’t feel like you need to stay in the confines of these) are: 

  • High or epic fantasy
  • Low fantasy
  • Magical realism
  • Sword and sorcery
  • Dark fantasy
  • Fables
  • Fairy tales
  • Superhero fiction

 Just among many others. Some of the elements and characteristics of fantasy are:

  • Good vs evil
  • The hero quest for power or knowledge
  • Tradition bs change
  • The induvial vs society
  • Man vs nature
  • Man vs himself
  • Coming of age
  • Love
  • Betrayal
  • Epic journey
  • The unlike and/or reluctant hero.

Which leads us to romance. As we know it takes place between two people, as most commonly known but in the day and age, we know that romance doesn’t always happen just between two people. It can be multiple. It’s also a genre that many seem to just write off because it’s just love and all other things, but it’s a really popular market and has many sub-genres like:

  • Contemporary
  • Historical
  • Romantic suspense
  • Paranormal romance
  • Sci-fi fantasy
  • Time-travel
  • Inspirational
  • Erotic romance 
  • Chick lit.  

Mystery novels are often known as a whodunnit novel where your readers turn into the detective to find out who the culprit is. The main character is also sometimes a detective or private eye who is trying to solve the case. 

The different kinds of mystery fiction include:

  • Detective Fiction
  • True Crime
  • Cosy Mystery
  • Legal Thriller
  • Police Procedural
  • Howtocatchem
  • Hardboiled Fiction
  • History Mystery
  • Lock-room mystery

The standard method for a mystery relies heavily on the inciting incident where the main character finds the mystery aka the murder, or the cold case. Then there’s the investigation, the twist before the breakthrough, and finally the conclusion.

Tell me what did you take away from this week’s lesson?

I’d love to know.

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Mandi is a writer, reader, dreamer and is breaking procrastinating inner editors, one at a time.

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