The Top Literary Genres

A literary genre refers to a category of literary composition. Here are some of the most common literary genres.

Poetry

Poetry is a major literary genre that has the following characteristics: it follows a meter and rhythm, with each syllable and line. It is further subdivided into different genres, such an epic poem, narrative, romantic, dramatic, and lyric. Poetry is a form of literature that elicits a focused imaginative awareness of an experience or a particular emotional response with the use of language that is also arranged for its meaning, sound, and rhythm.

Often considered as the oldest form of literature, poetry is different from prose in that the latter has complete sentences organized into paragraphs. Unlike poetry, prose focuses on characters and plot, rather than focusing on sounds

Fiction

Fiction can be defined as narrative literary work which has content that is created by the imagination and is not necessarily based on fact. In fictional works, something is feigned, invented, or imagined. It is essentially a made-up story. Although fiction is literature created from the imagination, and not presented as fact, it may also be based on a true story or situation. Some categories in the fiction genre include the novel, short story, and novella.

Non-Fiction

Non-fiction refers to an informational text that discusses an actual, real-life subject. This literary genre provides opinions or conjectures that are based on on facts and reality. Some sub-categories of non-fiction include biographies, history, essays, speech, and narrative non-fiction. Non-fiction is fairly direct. The author of a non-fiction has a particular set of information or ideas that he wants to convey.

Although literary works are mostly classified as either fiction or non-fiction, it is not uncommon for there to be a blend of both, particularly non-fiction with a dash of fiction for added spice. For instance, creative non-fiction is a branch of writing which utilizes literary devices and artistic vision that are generally associated with fiction or poetry to report on actual persons and events in the real world.