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What Book are You Writing?

If you consider the thousands of different books available in the world, the adage, “So many books, so little time” takes on a completely new meaning.

I love books. In fact, when I moved here to Summit, the movers commented about all the boxes, Father, you have so many books, have you read them all? The answer is yes, because I believe that in reading books, you are also writing your own – creating your story. C.S. Lewis once said, “We read to know we are not alone.”

Surely, all book lovers have their own favorite genre — in fact, probably multiple favorite genres. The genre system first began as a classification process for ancient Greek literature, including poetry, prose, and performance. Each genre has a specific, distinct style relating to theme, content, tone, details, and intensity. More simply, though, you know that all books can be broadly classified under two main categories: fiction and non-fiction.

We know that a work of fiction is one that is derived from the imagination. The great thing about fiction is that it could be inspired or partially borrows from real-life situations. Fictional books are often synonymously categorized under the umbrella term of a “novel.”

The polar opposite of fictional books, nonfiction books are based on facts, true accounts of history and real events. Also, unlike fiction books, nonfiction books have relatively few genres. The most common nonfictional works are biographies, autobiographies, almanacs and encyclopedias. Some of the fictional genres are:

1. Classics - Humorist writer Mark Twain once said, “Classic – a book which people praise and don’t read.”

2. Tragedy - written in a serious style, it focuses on human suffering or tragic events, brought into motion most often by a heroic individual.

3. Science Fiction - An umbrella term dealing with the advanced concepts of science, technology, time travel, space exploration, extra-terrestrial life, alternate timelines, cyberpunk and end of the world. These books often veer off into the world of fantasy, adventure, mystery, supernatural and dystopian fiction.

4. Fantasy - Works of speculative fiction, which generally revolve around magic, the supernatural and witchcraft. A lot of fantasy writers use mythology, theology and folklore as inspiration.

5. Fairytale - Take the form of short stories, usually involving fairies, dwarfs, princesses, goblins, unicorns, elves, talking animals, trolls, dragons and other magical creatures.

6. Adventure - These usually follow a reluctant hero leaving a familiar world behind to embark on a dangerous quest, where s/he encounters challenges, temptations and revelations. Helped along by mentors, guardians and friends, the hero navigates the unfamiliar world of adventure, defeats evil and returns home, successful and transformed.

7. Crime & Mystery - These usually revolve around a mysterious death or a baffling crime that needs to be solved. Usually, the book’s main protagonist is a detective who solves the mystery by logical deductions. The best mystery usually focuses on the starkly different views of morality and the societal aspects that the hero and the antagonist represent.