Genres of modern literature

Today you cannot find any books on the shelves of shops! The basis of the present genre richness of literature is both the historically formed legacy of writers of past years, and the trends of the present. A lot of trends, trends and genres represents so today the attention of readers.

However, especially literary variety is interesting for writers: it’s up to them to decide what genre to work in. And if you are a novice author, then it is especially important for you to be able to understand the peculiarities and subtleties of genre literature in order to understand the direction of future work for sure. Moreover, your accuracy and insight into the choice of genre will largely depend on the chances of your manuscript for publication.

For a start: what is a genre?

First, we note that there are two concepts of the genre:

  • literary (in the form of a work – a story, a story, a novel, etc.);
  • applied (by type of work – detective, love story, action movie, etc.).

We will consider in detail the applied genres of modern literature.

So, the genre is a type of literary work that has strict limits (the plot, the main conflict and the way to solve it, the characteristics of the hero, etc.). Genre is a dynamic phenomenon, and features of one genre often penetrate into another, generating subgenres.

What are the specific features that unite works in a particular genre? Let’s understand.

The most common modern genres

  1. Action.

Dynamic and, as a rule, bloody genre, to the characteristic features of which are:

  • the maximum of the action: the heroes do not stand still, even when they are at the fork in the main road, and constantly move – along the streets of the city, from city to city, from country to country;
  • the minimum of meaning – even at the fork the hero does not think, but acts according to circumstances that are rarely justified by the fact that “the west is where the sun sets”, the minimum of logic, no descriptions, except battles;
  • the presence of a positive protagonist – the savior of the world, humanity, city, government. The hero is uncommon, trained to fight, doomed to act in a situation of constant stress and danger, often finds himself in the thick of events completely by accident and always survives;
  • the presence of an antagonist – a negative hero, opposed by a positive hero. The antagonist, as a rule, is very influential, rich, smart, slightly out of himself, wants to ruin the world, the country, the city, the government and live to the finale, to either die there or go to jail;
  • description of fights, battles, traps for the hero, various weapons and military technology is two-thirds of the book;
  • mountains of corpses and a sea of blood with a description of injuries, bruises, and torture – are mandatory; half of the corpses – from the villain, half – from the positive hero.
  1. Detective.

A genre based on a mystery, murder, kidnapping or theft, with a detailed description of the investigation.

Genre features:

  • logical construction of the plot – randomness is excluded, the causes and consequences are interrelated and grounded, each assumption has a factual basis and justification;
  • completeness of facts – the investigation is based only on the information that is given to the reader, and it should be as complete and reliable as possible. “And how I thought of it before – you will learn in the finals” – is excluded. It is important for the reader not only to observe the course of actions, but also to conduct an independent investigation;
  • presence of clear static roles: investigator (detective), assistant detective (partner, intern), criminal (murderer, kidnapper, thief), victim (killed, murdered family), informant (e.g. grandmother-neighbor who knows everything about everyone) , witness (witnesses), suspect (circle of suspects);
  • the routine of the situation;
  • as a rule, a small coverage of the territory of the investigation;
  • in the final, all the puzzles must be solved, and all the questions are answered.
  1. A love affair.

A lyrical story based on the feelings and emotions of lovers, the genre features of which are:

  • the presence of an outstanding main character with a distinctive feature that distinguishes her from the crowd: either she is a gray mouse and a blue stocking, or a stunning beauty with a secret defect, or an old maid, or an impulsive seeker of adventure;
  • the presence of the main character – a handsome and courageous aristocrat, charming and charming, often for all other things – a scoundrel and a bastard, even more often – having a secondary romantic profession (a thief, a pirate, a robber or Robin Hood);
  • the presence of the third superfluous (rival) – a fan in love with the heroine (often the one born from childhood), a beautiful and bright rival (the former lover of the hero, his abandoned bride or wife);
  • romantic and emotional circumstances that reduce future lovers (marriage by calculation, meeting at the ball);
  • love (or carnal desire) – at first sight (or touch);
  • many obstacles that heroes must overcome in the name of love for each other (the difference in social status, poverty and pride of one of the heroes, family feuds, etc.);
  • emotional descriptions of experiences, turbulent explanations and clarification of relationships against the background of beautiful entourage (nature, ballrooms, balconies, greenhouses) occupy two thirds of the book;
  • bright and sensual descriptions of the first kisses and touches are required, bed scenes – according to circumstances;
  • In the final, the heroes must overcome all difficulties and obstacles, stay together (get married, get married, sleep) and confidently look into a brighter future.
  1. Sci-Fi (science fiction, fantasy).

A genre based on the existence and interaction of unusual or unreal elements or phenomena.

Genre features:

  • fictional world or changed reality – another planet, alternative past or future of the Earth, space and the Universe, parallel world, game reality, fairy-tale world, etc .;
  • a system of scientific or pseudoscientific knowledge, invented (a system of magic) or significantly ahead of the development of modern science, as well as the results of scientific achievements (techno-magic, magical artifacts, spacecraft, etc.);
  • non-existent phenomena in nature and biological species of plants, animals, humanoid races, etc.;
  • heroes endowed with unusual abilities, and abilities themselves, in the imaginary world being common;
  • a wide, often immense field of activity (a planet or a system of worlds, the universe), fantastic laws of the universe (the ability to move back into the past, overcome the usual laws of attraction), an unusual, different society, order, different from our structure of the world order.

Each of the four genres mentioned has, as we have already said, many subgenres: for example, fantasy detective, combat fantasy (cosmo-opera), love fantasy and others. Surely, you yourself have met similar “hybrids”.

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