Critique Partner Match Genre Guidelines
Fiction that provides excitement through a sense of danger for the characters.
Action – Typically more plot-driven.
Adventure – Typically more character-driven.
Fiction set in the real world, in the current time. Anything pre-2000 is historical.
Near Future – Set in the next 5-10 years.
Recent Past – Anything older than 2000 is Historical.
Right Now – Stories meant to be happening at this point in time.
Speculative fiction with magic, the paranormal, and alternate worlds.
High Fantasy – Stories set in a secondary fantasy world.
Magical Realism/Fabulism – A real-world setting with fantastical elements that are presented as ordinary. This is a tricky field to explain and understand, so read up here.
Paranormal/Mythology/Fairy Tales – Stories rooted in existing legends.
Urban/Contemporary Fantasy – The real world, with magic.
Any setting that is pre-2000, and in the real world. May include alternative histories.
1000-1500 – Stories set between 1000-1500 AD/CE.
1500-1800 – Stories set between 1500-1800 AD/CE.
1800-2000 – Stories set between 1800-2000 AD/CE.
Ancient – Stories set prior to 1000 AC/CE.
Speculative fiction designed to scare, disgust, or startle.
Body Horror – Features graphic or disturbing violations of the human body.
Monsters – Features monsters such as zombies, vampires, werewolves, etc.
Psychological Horror – It’s all in your head.
Fiction that is humorous, or seeks to comment on current events through humor.
Comedy of Errors – Stories in which events are made ridiculous through the number of errors made.
Comedy of Manners – Stories about the affectations and manners of a given social group.
Parody – Stories imitating or commenting on an existing work or artist.
Satire – Stories that ridicule people’s stupidity or vices, often political.
Fiction distinct from commercial or genre fiction. Often deemed to “have literary merit.”
Experimental/Meta – Fiction that emphasizes innovation. What IS a novel?
Human Condition – Fiction that depicts the ordinary aspects of human life.
Social Commentary – Fiction that expresses a point of view towards society.
Fiction in which the main plot revolves around a crime to be solved.
Cozy Mystery – Often set in small, intimate communities, with little or no sex or violence.
Noir/Hard-Boiled Mystery – Fiction with a character or tone described as cynical, fatalistic, or morally ambiguous.
Police Procedural – Stories where the emphasis is on the process used by police in solving a crime.
Whodunit – Stories where the identity of a murderer forms the mystery and resolution.
Fiction that is influenced by and/or engages with a real-world religion.
Gentle Fiction – Stories defined by their avoidance of graphic elements, instead providing a ‘cozy’ experience.
Fiction in which the main plot centers on a romantic relationship. Always has a happy ending (HEA or HFN).
Chick Lit – Stories that center young women, often humorous.
High Heat – Stories that are explicitly sexual. (Please keep in mind that WriteOnCon is a children’s conference!)
Medium Heat – Stories that fall midway between High Heat and Sweet.
Sweet Romance – Stories that avoid explicit sexually, may be ‘closed door.’
Speculative fiction with science as the basis, includes near-futures, space operas, and time travel.
Dystopian – Stories set in a world where things are bad, such as a totalitarian government or a ruined environment.
Hard Sci Fi – Stories that rely on scientific accuracy. Often for stories set in space, or in the distant future.
Punks (Cyber, Steam, etc.) – Sub-genres denoting the nature of the science used, such as Cyberpunk, Steampunk, Dieselpunk, Biopunk, etc.
Soft Sci Fi – Stories where scientific accuracy is less important than character or social development. Often set in a near-future setting, or Earth-but-with-[sci-fi element].
Fiction that elicits feelings of suspense, surprise, anticipation and anxiety–keeps the reader on the edge of their seat.
Psychological – Stories emphasizing the unstable or delusional state of its characters.
Suspense – Stories that keep readers anticipating.
Thriller – Stories that emphasize intrigue and adventure.