Genres of Literature

Genres of literature are important to learn about. The two main categories separating the different genres of literature are fiction and nonfiction. There are several genres of literature that fall under the nonfiction category. Nonfiction sits in direct opposition to fiction. Examples from both the fiction and nonfiction genres of literature are explained in detail below. This detailed genres of literature list is a great resource to share with any scholars.

Types of Nonfiction:

Narrative Nonfiction is information based on fact that is presented in a format which tells a story.

Essays are a short literary composition that reflects the author’s outlook or point. A short literary composition on a particular theme or subject, usually in prose and generally analytic, speculative, or interpretative.

A Biography is a written account of another person’s life.

An Autobiography gives the history of a person’s life, written or told by that person. Often written in Narrative form of their person’s life.

Speech is the faculty or power of speaking; oral communication; ability to express one’s thoughts and emotions by speech, sounds, and gesture. Generally delivered in the form of an address or discourse.

Finally there is the general genre of Nonfiction. This is Informational text dealing with an actual, real-life subject. This genre of literature offers opinions or conjectures on facts and reality. This includes biographies, history, essays, speech, and narrative non fiction. Nonfiction opposes fiction and is distinguished from those fiction genres of literature like poetry and drama which is the next section we will discuss.

Genres of Fiction:

Drama is the genre of literature that’s subject for compositions is dramatic art in the way it is represented. This genre is stories composed in verse or prose, usually for theatrical performance, where conflicts and emotion are expressed through dialogue and action.

Poetry is verse and rhythmic writing with imagery that evokes an emotional response from the reader. The art of poetry is rhythmical in composition, written or spoken. This genre of literature is for exciting pleasure by beautiful, imaginative, or elevated thoughts.

Fantasy is the forming of mental images with strange or other worldly settings or characters; fiction which invites suspension of reality.

Humor is the faculty of perceiving what is amusing or comical. Fiction full of fun, fancy, and excitement which meant to entertain. This genre of literature can actually be seen and contained within all genres.

A Fable is a story about supernatural or extraordinary people Usually in the form of narration that demonstrates a useful truth. In Fables, animals often speak as humans that are legendary and supernatural tales.

Fairy Tales or wonder tales are a kind of folktale or fable. Sometimes the stories are about fairies or other magical creatures, usually for children.

Science Fiction is a story based on impact of potential science, either actual or imagined. Science fiction is one of the genres of literature that is set in the future or on other planets.

Short Story is fiction of such briefness that is not able to support any subplots.

Realistic Fiction is a story that can actually happen and is true to real life.

Folklore are songs, stories, myths, and proverbs of a person of “folk” that was handed down by word of mouth. Folklore is a genre of literature that is widely held, but false and based on unsubstantiated beliefs.

Historical Fiction is a story with fictional characters and events in a historical setting.

Horror is an overwhelming and painful feeling caused by literature that is frightfully shocking, terrifying, or revolting. Fiction in which events evoke a feeling of dread in both the characters and the reader.

A Tall Tale is a humorous story with blatant exaggerations, swaggering heroes who do the impossible with an here of nonchalance.

Legend is a story that sometimes of a national or folk hero. Legend is based on fact but also includes imaginative material.

Mystery is a genre of fiction that deals with the solution of a crime or the unraveling of secrets. Anything that is kept secret or remains unexplained or unknown.

Mythology is a type of legend or traditional narrative. This is often based in part on historical events, that reveals human behavior and natural phenomena by its symbolism; often pertaining to the actions of the gods. A body of myths, as that of a particular people or that relating to a particular person.

Fiction in Verse is full-length novels with plot, subplots, themes, with major and minor characters. Fiction of verse is one of the genres of literature in which the narrative is usually presented in blank verse form.

The genre of Fiction can be defined as narrative literary works whose content is produced by the imagination and is not necessarily based on fact. In fiction something is feigned, invented, or imagined; a made-up story.

The Oxford English Dictionary is a great place to consult for any further definitions of the different genres of literature explained here.