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Genre: Sci-fi, Horror and Thriller

Welcome back to the Writing Apothecary and our last lesson for Genre. Today we’re looking at sci-fi, horror and thriller. 

Science fiction or sci-fi as it’s commonly known is another sub-genre of speculative fiction. It typically deals with imaginative and futurist concepts such as

  • Science technology
  • Space exploration
  • Time travel
  • Parellel universes 
  • Extra terrestrial

It’s also known as the literature of ideas because it often explores the consequence of scientific, social and technology innovations.  Sci-fi has beginning in ancient times where it blurs the lines between myth and fact. 
Some of the elements of sci-fi include:

  • Temporary settings in the further or alternate histories. 
  • Spatial setting or scenes in outer space or other worlds/parallel universes.
  • Aspects of biology y in fiction for example: aliens, mutants and enhanced human
  • Predicted or speculated technology like robots, advanced computer interfaces, and advanced weapons. Undiscovered scientific possibility such as teleportation time travel and faster than light travel or communication.
  • New and different political and social systems, which include utopian, dystopian, post-apocalyptic ad post scarcity.
  • Future history and evolution of humans on Earth or on other plants.
  • Paranormal abilities like mind control, telepathy and telekinesis.

Ok let’s move onto Horror, which is another genre of speculative fiction. This genre intends to frighten, scare of disgust readers. Horror creates an eerie and frightening at most for the reader and is often divided into psychological horror and supernatural horror sub-genres. They can also be seen as a metaphor for larger fears of society. 

One of the most defining character of the horror genre it that it provokes an emotional, physical or psychological response within readers which makes them react with fear.

Some of the elements of Horror include but aren’t limited to:

  • Ghosts
  • Demons
  • Vampires
  • Werewolves
  • Ghouls 
  • The devil
  • Witches
  • Monsters
  • Dystopian and apocalyptic worlds
  • Serial killers
  • Cannibalism
  • Psychopaths
  • Cults
  • The macabre
  • Gore 
  • Torture

Which moves us to thrillers, they’re a genre that overlaps sub-genres. They’re characterise by the moods they elicit by giving readers heightened feelings of suspense, excitement, surprise, anticipation and anxiety.  

Thrillers are often villain driven and present obstacles that the protagonist must overcome. This genre is one of the most expansive because it can’t be narrowed down. You can have thrillers that are romantically driven, medically driver, police driven even politically driver and that is why this genre is so versatile, the only aspect that it needs it so allow the reader to have a common ground with the intensity of emotions they create. 

If a thriller, doesn’t by definition, thrill then it’s not doing its job. You want to take your readers breathe away as they read every word. 

Tell me what did you take away from this week’s lesson?
I’d love to know.

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