Genre Fiction

Genre fiction, also known as popular fiction, is fictional works (novels, short stories) written with the intent of fitting into a specific literary genre in order to appeal to readers and fans already familiar with that genre.

Genre fiction is often used interchangeably with the term popular fiction, and generally distinguished from literary fiction. The American screenwriting teacher Robert McKee defines genre conventions as the "specific settings, roles, events, and values that define individual genres and their subgenres." These conventions, always fluid, are usually implicit, but sometimes are made into explicit requirements by publishers of fiction as a guide to authors seeking publication.

Screen writers have to ensure that their stories conform to the guidelines—the closer the conformity, the greater their likelihood of being published. The publisher, for its part, is trying to meet the desires of its readers, who often have strong and specific expectations of the publisher's stories. Such "made-to-measure" writing is genre fiction in its purest form.

Most fiction writing, especially of novel length, does not conform so tightly to the conventions of a genre. Indeed, there is no consensus as to exactly what the conventions of any genre are, or even what the genres themselves are. Writers, publishers, marketers, booksellers, libraries, academics, critics, and even readers all may have different ways of classifying fiction, and any of these classifications might be termed a genre. (For example, one arguable genre of genre fiction—the airport novel—takes its name not from the subjects of its stories, but from the market where it is sold.) It is beyond doubt that readers have preferences for certain types of stories, and that there are writers and publishers who try to cater to those preferences, but the term genre remains amorphous, and the assigning of works to genres is to some extent arbitrary and subjective.

Read more about Genre Fiction:  Genre and The Marketing of Fiction, Evolution of Fiction Genres, Age Categories, List of Genres

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