From a young age we often dream of escaping into other realities, or fantasize about what could have been instead. That is why children like books so much, and often dream of writing one themselves. If this dream has not left you even into adulthood, but you are still writing only school essays, do not worry. The first step of writing any book is to choose what you will write about. If this question is hard to answer, focus on the genre, because it will give you a hint of what you like the best and what you will be interested in writing about. If you already have a genre in mind, there is another article for you on how to write a book. However, this article is an overview of some of the most popular genres, which might give you an idea of what your future bestseller will be about!
Are you a fan of Sherlock or Nancy Drew? A detective story is full of mysteries to be solved, and you can lead your reader through an adventure full of clues with a final shocking reveal. The key to writing such stories is to have a highly analytical mind that is prone to solving mysteries, but leaving the key to the puzzle on the last pages of your novel. You should always intrigue the reader in the beginning, so he will be interested in finding out who committed the crime and will follow you until the very last page of your book.
A truly great novelist will be able to write about life in such way that it will be relatable to anybody. If you like to pick out the details from your day: a child holding a bright yellow balloon, a shopgirl sweeping the street in front of the flower shop, the umbrellas of the people hiding from a heavy rain – and transform them into something beautiful, maybe this genre is for you.
There is also an opposing genre to the steady routine of the “slice of life” novels: the travelogue. You can try to write a travelogue on your website or blog, just to see if you get good reviews. Imagine that you have a boring uncle and a really fun cousin that have been to Thailand during this summer vacation. The uncle is going to inform you about the hotel suit, the bedsheets, the price of the tickets, but the cousin will tell you fun and exciting stuff about a safari with elephants, the sunset on the beach, the exotic fruits. So you should also be someone who picks out only the most exciting parts of your travels and tells them well enough so people will want to listen.
Even though history is fixed, there are still a lot of historical novels that get published every day. Why is it so? Historical fiction is an interpretation of history. Sadly, we cannot confirm anything about history because we have not been there, so history is highly subjective. This is why you can play with it, and find a whole new point of view to describe, basing yourself on some well-known facts.
Such epic fantasy books as “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, the “Game of Thrones” saga, the “Harry Potter” novels are very popular nowadays. Fantasy lets you create a whole new world, with its rules, landscapes, creatures, and of course magic! You can shape your world in any way you want, though in the story usually there is a quest to solve, an adventure to embark on. You might think that it is easy to create something without doing the research on history or science, however, with great creative powers comes great responsibility, as it is your task to make this world believable.
Who does not like Star Wars or Star Trek? Well, if you would like to imagine a bright future, in which humanity uses technologies to explore the universe and save the world, this genre is for you. There are many subgenres of science fiction, and not all of it has to do with intergalactic travel, but the key point is the usage of some technology that may become possible in the future. In order to write in such a genre, you must understand the laws of physics and be really interested in exploring at least one problem thoroughly.
The classic “1984” by George Orwell, “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood are all part of the anti-utopia genre. So what is it? These books carry great meaning, because they are a warning of what a future might be like if something goes wrong in the present and we get stripped of our rights. The key to writing such books is not only to be aware of the problems that the world is facing, but also to make a believable totalitarian regime that enforces the anti-human laws. Usually, everything ends badly for the main hero, who understood the horrific circumstances he found himself in.
When your anti-utopia is not controlled by authoritarian political regimes, but rather is a fault of technology gone wrong, you are welcomed in the genre of cyberpunk. It is even more horrifying, because machines cannot feel empathy. You are faced with a grim world, where technologies won against humanity, and there is nothing to be done for the main hero that acknowledges the horrifying situation.
There are lighter and more optimistic genres, such as romance, that you could also write. It is a known fact that almost all popular books have a storyline connected with love. If you make it the main part of your book, you get a romance book, that will make your readers care for the characters, root for them to be together and cry at the various challenges they will face before achieving their bliss.
For the fans of drama, suspense and ghost stories there are always horrors and thrillers. Such books make readers fear and thrill them to no end, as they embark with the main characters on a voyage to the unknown. Horrors are connected with some supernatural powers, while thrillers just make you scared for something that could easily happen in real life.