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|March 22nd, 2009|
ON THE DEFINITION OF GENRE
The concept of "genre" can be a fairly slippery one, but allow me to propose that genres of fiction can be broken down into four categories:(1) Setting
(4) Target Audience
Which can roughly be explained like this:
(1) If a book is set in the 14th century, its historical fiction. If a book is set on Mars, its science fiction. If a book is set in a magical fairy kingdom, its fantasy. And so forth.
(2) If a book's plot is significantly based around solving a crime or puzzle, then it's a mystery. If a book's plot is significantly based around two people falling in love, then it's a romance. And so forth.
(3) If a book is supposed to make people laugh, it's a comedy. And so forth. (This one is a bit harder to get your thumb on.)
(4) If a book is meant to be read by children, it's a children's book. If it's meant to be read by teens, it's a young adult novel. If it's not meant to be read by people younger than 18ish, then it's a mature novel.
You can freely mix-and-match between the different types of genres (a historical children's mystery comedy). Mix-and-matching with another genre of the same type is bit trickier. I think the only genre which is truly exclusive is setting.
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