Maybe you are new to writing and want to dip your toes in the novel-writing realm. You quickly realize how many genres, and subgenres, are out there and wonder where you can squeeze in.

Maybe you have a great idea for a story but unsure what genre you want it to be a part of. There are a few factors that decide which genre you should write.

Write What You Love

Write What You Love

If you only enjoy reading horror, thriller, and suspense novels, why would you write romance? If there are a few genres that stand out in your head, you likely know the guidelines for them and are much more familiar with their formats.

Also, it is important to write what you love. The characters, plot, and setting are going to come much easier for you if you love what you write about. Plus, wouldn’t you love to see your book on the shelf one day next to some of your favorites?

If you have a story idea that doesn’t necessarily fit into one of the genres you have in mind, you can always branch out or try to tweak the story to make it fit in.


Factors That Help You Decide Which Genre You Should Write

  • Writeabout what you love.
  • Writewhat you are good at writing.
  • Don’t writewith money and fame in mind.
  • Write to your audience.
  • Test a few different genres.


Different Categories of Books


Fictionfiction Books

Fiction implies the inventive construction of an imaginary world and, most commonly, its fictionality is publicly acknowledged. Hence, its audience typically expects it to deviate in some ways from the real world rather than presenting only characters who are actual people or portrayals that are factually true. The word is from the Latin fictiō, “the act of making, fashioning, or molding.” Fiction is defined by its focus on narratives invented by the author. Most academics and literary critics further subdivide Fiction into two categories- Literary Fiction and genre fiction.



Non-fiction is a broad genre of writing that encompasses all books that aren’t rooted in a fictional narrative. Authors of such accounts genuinely believe or claim them to be truthful at the time of their composition or, at least, pose them to a convinced audience as historically or empirically factual. Common literary examples of non-fiction include expository, argumentative, functional, and opinion pieces; essays on art or literature; biographies; memoirs; journalism; and historical, scientific, technical, or economic writings



The novel is a genre of Fiction, an invented prose narrative of considerable length and a certain complexity that deals imaginatively with human experience, usually through a connected sequence of events involving a group of persons in a specific setting. Within its broad framework, the genre of the novel has encompassed an extensive range of types and styles: picaresque, epistolary, Gothic, romantic, realist, historical—to name only some of the more important ones. It is published as a single book. The word ‘novel’ has been derived from the Italian word ‘novella’ which means “new”. It has features like a representation of characters, dialogues, setting, plot, climax, conflict, and resolution. However, it does not require all the elements to be a good novel. For every writer, a novel is a strong tool to present the philosophical, historical, social, cultural, and moral perspectives.

E.g., Animal Farm by George Orwell, Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, and others.



Etymologically, romance comes from romanz, which means a story of chivalry and love. The word “romance” also refers to romantic love. As far as literature is concerned, it means romantic stories with chivalrous feats of heroes and knights. Romance describes chivalry and courtly love, comprising stories and legends of duty, courage, boldness, battles, and rescues of damsels in distress.

Two basic elements comprise every romance novel: a central love story and an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending.

E.g., Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen


Self-Help Books

A self-help book is one that is written with the intention to instruct its readers on solving personal problems. There are various benefits of reading self-help books.

  • You interpret yourself and the world more positively.
  • You’re inspired to make better choices and take positive actions more often.
  • You don’t improve; you expand.
  • You smash through your limitations.
  • You create personal projects that rocket your growth.

E.g., Fear Less by Dean Sluyter, Silence by Erling Kagge, and others.


Children’s BooksChildren’s Books

Children’s literature comprises those books written and published for young people who are not yet interested in adult literature or who may not possess the reading skills or developmental understandings necessary for its perusal. The age range for children’s literature is from infancy through the stage of early adolescence, which roughly coincides with the chronological ages of twelve through fourteen. Literature serves children in four major ways: it helps them to better understand themselves, others, their world, and the aesthetic values of written language. When children read, they often assume the role of one of the characters. Through that character’s thoughts, words, and actions, the child develops insight into his or her character and values. Frequently, because of experiences with literature, the child’s modes of behavior and value structures are changed, modified, or extended.

E.g., The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, and others.



Biography, commonly considered nonfictional, the subject of which is the life of an individual. One of the oldest forms of literary expression, it seeks to re-create in words the life of a human being—as understood from the historical or personal perspective of the author—by drawing upon all available evidence, including that retained in memory as well as written, oral, and pictorial material. It is simply an account or detailed description of the life of a person. It entails basic facts, such as childhood, education, career, relationships, family, and death. It portrays the experiences of all these events occurring in the life of a person, mostly in chronological order. A person who writes biographies is called a “biographer.”

E.g., Shakespeare: A Life by Park Honan


AutobiographyAuto Biography

Autobiography is one type of biography, which is a written record of the author’s life. Rather than being written by somebody else, an autobiography comes through the person’s pen, in his own words. Some autobiographies are written in the form of a fictional tale; as novels or stories that closely mirror events from the author’s real life. Such stories include Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield and J.D Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye. In writing about a personal experience, one discovers himself. Therefore, it is not merely a collection of anecdotes – it is a revelation to the readers about the author’s self-discovery.



A text-book is a book of instruction. They are produced to meet the needs of educators, usually at educational institutions. Its primary aim is to enable one to develop a proper understanding of the subject. A good text-book takes into consideration the method of teaching and the level of readership. It is revised keeping in view new development and changing methodology of teaching.


Political Books

The political genre is made up of books about different political viewpoints, their effects on society, and the politicians who were involved with laws, wars, and economics. Warfare, force, and power are also included in the political genre. Political Fiction employs narrative to comment on political events, systems, and theories. Works of political fiction, such as political novels, often “directly criticize an existing society or present an alternative, even fantastic, reality.”

E.g., Common Sense by Thomas Paine, I am America by Stephen Colbert, and others.


Academic Books

The academic book is a long-form publication, and is the result of in-depth academic research, usually over a period of years, making an original contribution to a field of study. An academic book can take many forms. In the past, these forms would generally have been represented in print, but increasingly print formats are being accompanied or sometimes replaced by digital versions, and digital formats are becoming increasingly functional.


MysteryMystery book

The mystery is a genre of literature whose stories focus on a puzzling crime, situation, or circumstance that needs to be solved. The term comes from the Latin mysterium, meaning “a secret thing.” stories can be either fictional or non-fictional, and can focus on both supernatural and non-supernatural topics. Many mystery stories involve what is called a “whodunit” scenario, meaning the mystery revolves around uncovering a culprit or criminal. Mystery fiction is a loosely-defined term that is often used as a synonym of detective fiction. However, in more general usage “mystery” may be used to describe any form of crime fiction, even if there is no mystery to be solved. E.g., Sherlock Holmes books.


Thrillersthriller book

Thrillers are characterized by fast pacing, frequent action, and resourceful heroes who must thwart the plans of more-powerful and better-equipped villains. Literary devices such as suspense, red herrings, and cliffhangers are used extensively. Thrillers often overlap with mystery stories but are distinguished by the structure of their plots. In a thriller, the hero must thwart the plans of an enemy. Jeopardy and violent confrontations are standard plot elements. A thriller climaxes when the hero finally defeats the villain, saving his own life and often the lives of others.

E.g., The Jack Reacher series, written by Lee Child, and R.L. Stine’s Fear Street series


Poetry BooksPoetry Books

Poetry is a form of literary art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its apparent meaning. Poetry may be written independently or may occur in conjunction with other arts, as in poetic drama, hymns, or lyrics. Poetry often uses particular forms and conventions to expand the literal meaning of the words or to evoke emotional or sensual responses. Devices such as assonance, alliteration, onomatopoeia, and rhythm are sometimes used to achieve musical or incantatory effects. Poetry’s use of ambiguity, symbolism, irony, and other stylistic elements of poetic diction often leaves a poem open to multiple interpretations. Similarly, metaphor and simile create a resonance between otherwise disparate images—a layering of meanings, forming connections previously not perceived.


Spiritual Books

The genre of “religious, inspirational, and spiritual” encompasses a diverse collection of material that includes both fiction and non-fiction books. This genre includes books that cover topics meant to encourage spiritual growth but are not necessarily tied to one religion. Books that offer techniques for improving physical health, emotional well-being, and personal relationships are popular in this genre, especially when they pull from concepts and practices from all over the world.


Cook Bookscook book

Cookbooks are a collection of recipes, instructions, and information about the preparation and serving of foods. A cookbook is also a chronicle and treasury of the fine art of cooking which would otherwise be lost. Cookbooks may be written by individual authors, who may be chefs, cooking teachers, or other food writers; they may be written by collectives, or they may be anonymous. They may be addressed to home cooks, professional restaurant cooks, institutional cooks, or more specialized audiences.


Art Books

The art books are works of visual art, an approach or criteria that could include the case of books made by artists. An Art Book today can be seen to occupy various positions including that of a piece of theory, a catalog, a printed exhibition, a piece of art in itself, a supplement to a pre-existing piece. It can be a proposal for the future or an examination of the present or what has passed.


Young Adult Books

Young-adult fiction (often abbreviated as YA) is fiction written for, published for, or marketed to adolescents and young adults, roughly ages 13 to 18. The vast majority of YA stories portray an adolescent as the protagonist, rather than an adult or a child. Themes in YA stories often focus on the challenges of youth. The most important component of any young adult story is the teenage perspective. Despite its unique characteristics, YA shares the fundamental elements of fiction with other stories: character, plot, setting, theme, and style.

E.g., The Fault In Our Stars


Board Books

A board book is a type of children’s book printed on thick paperboard. It is printed and used for both the cover and the interior pages. A board book’s pages are specially folded and bound together. The pages are just over 1mm thick, and there are very few of them. They are very durable and consequently are intended for small children, who often tend to be less gentle with books. Board books are appropriate for babies aged 6 months to toddlers 4 years old.


History BooksHistory Books

Historical Fiction is a story that takes readers to a time and place in the past. What makes a historical novel believable is its setting. Historical Fiction is set in a real place, during a culturally recognizable time. The details and the action in the story can be a mix of actual events and ones from the author’s imagination as they fill in the gaps. Characters can be pure fiction or based on real people (often, it’s both). But everything about them — their attitudes and look, the way they speak, and problems they face — should match the era. Of course, the key to an author getting all of this right is research. Authors are always allowed artistic license, but the most satisfying works of Historical Fiction have been well researched.