“No story lives unless someone wants to listen” JK Rowling. Everyone has a story to tell whether it is from their own experience or through the experience of others. So is it true that a story lives only when you have an audience to listen or watch it? There are millions of writers/authors out there who are working hard and struggling to entertain their audience with a story. How to know your audience? There are various types of genres of stories that one can choose based on their expertise.
Here, I will discuss the most popular genres in the current times and some basic story ideas to help you with your writing.
You will also be learning how to identify the genre of a movie, your target audience and how exactly a story works. Before we start learning different story genres, you have to know the meaning of the genre.
What is A Genre and why is it essential?
Genre is a style or category of art, music or literature. It is a style of the story that will help the audience or readers to expect how a story would be. Genre is a term used to define elements that repeat themselves in similar kinds of movies, books, television shows or music. It means that some features will repeat over and over again with time with a few differences. Different genres can be classified based on the plot, characters, length, viewpoint.
Genre will help the audience to know what to expect from the story and what they want to experience from it. There are audiences who love a particular type of genre and the genre evolves when the author experiments with them and pushes the boundaries. So the author needs to decide the genre of story before he/she starts developing his ideas. Basically, there are three types of genres which are further classified into many. They are Fictional, Poetry and Non-fiction.
- Non-fiction consists of Memoir, biography etc. Non-fiction story basically means that which describes real-life events or real characters.
- Poetry genre evokes a certain mood or feeling with either lyric, narrative or dramatic poetry.
- Fiction genre is mainly something that is made up by the author or the filmmaker and which is different from the real-life events or characters.
Fiction: 10 Genres Of Stories
Fiction is the most popular genre across the globe and I will try to explore the 10 most important genres which can be considered as sub genres that fall under fiction
These types of stories usually revolve around two people who are in a relationship. In most of the stories, the couple are kept away from each other and later various events occur which makes the both come together in the end. With fresh and interesting developments between the characters, the stories in this genre can succeed. Explore how their relationship develops with time and followed by incidents which make them walk away from each other.
Two people from different cultures fall in love with each other. Their families are against the relationship due to the cultural differences. How have both overcome the hurdles and come together?
The main aim of the protagonist in these stories is to catch the criminal. You can see a series of crimes happening from the start of the story and the identity of the criminal needs to be found. The process of solving the crime is the most difficult part and the protagonist misses the important clues and later realises and nabs the criminal. It could be based on a single crime or a series of crimes happening in a city or community.
A serial killer chops the body parts of the victims and sends them to different addresses and one such package reaches the protagonist. How does the protagonist solve the mystery and identify the killer and his motive behind it?
Thriller or Suspense is sometimes combined with mystery. This genre comes with nail biting scenes and the protagonist will be fighting for his survival. It can also contain investigation to catch the antagonist. It could be action-packed with full of tension, anxiety or fear. We can say that all thrillers are mysteries but not the other way around.
After series of bomb blasts by terrorists in the country, the goverment sends the protagonist who is a spy to a different country to find out the preparators. The protagonist has gone through challenging situations risking his own life and with his never give up attitude finds out the preparators.
Horror genre is one of the most watched or read fictional stories. They are usually scary and involve pursuit and escape. The main purpose of the horror genre is to frighten the audience with images, characters, or situations. It is related to death, after death, evil spirits, and paranormal activities. The horror genre has evolved with time. Earlier, it can have creatures like zombies, ghosts and even serial killers. The story majorly takes place at abandoned buildings, forest, graveyards, which are dark places and usually create a sense of fear.
You can get more horror story ideas with the experiences you had in your childhood or some real stories you listen from others in your life. If you are writing a book, then you need to describe the environment in the story and reactions of the characters with more detail so that the readers can imagine. You can click here to know how to write a novel and understand the basic outline.
A family moves to a big house or a villa in a village nearby forest. A girl goes missing and authorities couldn’t find the girl. After many years, the family receives a call from her. They fear because they are the ones who killed the girl.
Fantasy stories are completely made up stories which exist only in the imagination of the writer. The writer needs to build the whole world for the story. They are often age-old or future stories and don’t take place in the current world or times. You might include scientific elements to the story and characters possess some unreal and unique abilities.
After moving to a new city, the protagonist goes to the neighbours house to introduce himself and the giant creatures take him captive.
Sci-Fi or Science Fiction
These stories are usually set in the future, past or sometimes in other dimensions. This genre too requires the writer to think of a different world. It uses advanced technologies and tends to break the rules of physics.Most of the Sci-Fi films fail to make the audience understand the meaning behind a scene. The author writes the story based on the ‘What If’ principle.
The protagonist has a chip inside him which helps him read others’ minds. He is given a job by the government to investigage a terror attack and later releazies he isn’t a human.
The stories in this genre have the protagonist dealing with physical dangers repeatedly. It goes fast paced and the protagonist is portrayed as a heroic figure and courageous. It usually ends with a thrilling climax and gives a feeling of relief to the audience or readers. Near death events or situations or finishing a mission within a short time can be the main plot of the story. It can even be a rival between the good and bad guys in the story. These types of stories are majorly made as films. You can click here to learn how to write a good screenplay and create powerful characters for your story.
A common man finds an old diary at his house which has secret information about the treasure owned by his father. On his way to the treasure hunt, the protagonist comes across others who are also looking for the treasure and they hold the heroine as hostage to blackmail the protagonist.
These stories take place in a historical backdrop with the real characters from the history being portrayed as the characters in the story. It is not necessary for the story to be a real incident. Usually the writers try to make larger than life characters through this genre reflecting the nature of the real character and make them remain in the minds of the audience forever. You can refer to the history of different countries or cultures and observe various events to get more story ideas for movies or novels.
The protagonist works in a gas factory and a big explosion takes place. Thousands in the area die due to the poisonous gases but luckily he alone survives. Later, he explains the situation about how the tragedy happened and how he survived.
Comedy or Humour is considered as one of the best genres in movies.The main aim is to make the viewer laugh out loud. There are many types of comedy like dark comedy, romantic comedy, slapstick comedy, etc. You can combine comedy with any other genre as per the plot or depending on the internal conflict around which the story revolves.
As part of the game with her friends, a woman keeps dialing random numbers and asks if they are interested in going for a coffee or date? One day, the protagonist too receives the call and later finds out the woman’s identity.
This particular genre of stories shows the struggling life of the athlete. The story can be nonfiction, based on true events or fiction. There can be a lot of drama and conflicts in the protagonist’s life due to politics or society. These stories can be related to many in real life and can give a lot of inspiration. Sport movies are often based on the real life athletes who have reached great heights in their career.
Protagonist strives to be a boxing champion and unfortunately meets with an accident. He gives up boxing and gets married. Later, finds out that it was a planned accident. Again, he starts his journey to prove himself as a boxer.
Besides this, Script writers can add one or more genres in the story and can experiment with it and surprise the audience.