(Flash fiction, Romance, Horror, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Mystery/Crime, Thriller/Suspense)
Flash fiction is fiction that is extremely short. The standard accepted length of a flash fiction piece is 1000 words or less. There are several different terms for flash fiction including sudden fiction, micro fiction, postcard fiction and short short story. The challenge of flash fiction is to tell a complete story, (beginning, middle, end) with out all the flowers. What you'll come away with is a clean, core of a story that is powerful, beautiful and even inspirational.
A type of flash fiction is the short story with an exact word count. Examples include 55 fiction, the Drabble and the 69er. Nanofictions are complete stories, with at least one character and a discernible plot, exactly 55 words long. A Drabble is a short story of exactly 100 words and a 69er is a story of exactly 69 words, not including the title.
There are numerous types of Romance stories and novels but at the core a romance is a love affair. A mysterious or fascinating quality or appeal, something adventurous.
Chick-lit - often very humorous romantic adventures geared toward single working women in their 20s and 30s.
Christian - romances in which both hero and heroine are devote christians, typically focused on chaste courtship and mentioning sex only after marriage.
Contemporary - a romance using modern characters and true to life settings.
Erotica - also called "romantica" a romance in which the bedroom doors have been flung open and sexual scenes are described in candid language.
Glitz/Glamor - focused on the jet-set elite and celebrity characters.
Historical - a romance taking place in a recognizable historical period.
Multicultural - a romance centered around non-Caucasian characters, largely African-American or Hispanic.
Paranormal - involving some sort of supernatural element, ranging wildly to include science fiction/fantasy aspects, such as time travel, monsters or psychic abilities.
Romantic Comedy - a romance focused on humor, ranging from screwball antics to witty interplay.
Romantic Suspense - a novel in which an admirable heroine is pitted against some evil force, but while the romantic aspect still maintains priority.
Sensual - based on the sensual tension between hero and heroine, including sizzling sex scenes.
Spicy - a romance in which married characters work to resolve their problems.
Sweet - a romance centered on a virgin heroine, with a storyline containing little or no sex.
Young adult - written with the teenage audience in mind, with a suitably lower level of sexual content.
Horror like many other genres have many different verities. The elements of intense feelings of dread, impending danger and fear are elements of this genre.
Comic horror - horror stories that are either spoof horror conventions or that mix the gore with dark humor.
Creepy kids - horror tales in which children - often under the influence of dark forces - begin to turn agains the adults.
Dark fantasy - a horror story with supernatural and fantasy elements.
Dark mystery/noir - inspired by hardboiled detective tales, set in an urban underworld of crime and moral ambiguity.
Science Fiction / Fantasy
Science fiction is often described as potentially real. Where fantasy is a made up world.
Alternate history - speculative fiction that changes the accepted account of actual historic events, often featuring a profound "what if?" premise.
Arthurian fantasy - reworking the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.
Bangsian fantasy - stories speculating on the afterlives of famous people.
Biopunk - a blend of film noir, Japanese anime and post modern elements used to describe nihilistic biotech society.
Children's fantasy - a kinder, gentler style of fantasy aimed at very young readers.
Mystery / Crime
A mystery has a puzzle for you to disentangle and will lead you to the answer.
Amateur detective - a mystery solved by an amateur, who generally has a profession or affiliation that provides access to information about the crime.
Child in peril - a mystery involving the abduction or persecution of a child.
Classic whodunit - a crime that is solved by a detective, from the detective's point of view, with all the clues available to the reader.
Comic (bumbling detective) - a mystery played for laughs, often featuring a detective who is grossly unskilled, but often solves the crime anyway, owing to his tremendous good luck.
Cozy - a mystery that takes place in a small town - sometimes in a single home - where all the suspects are present and familiar with one another, except the detective, who is usually an eccentric outsider.
Thriller / Suspense
There is usually something bigger at stake. If the hero is not successful there will be a catastrophic event. These stories keep you on the edge of your seat and usually up all night.
Action - a story that often features a race against the clock, lots of violence, and an obvious antagonist.
Comic - a thriller played for laughs, whether through a spoof of the genre or wisecracking interplay between the protagonist.
Conspiracy - a thriller in which the hero battles a large, powerful group whose true intent only he recognizes.
Crime - a story focused on the commission of a crime, often from the point of view of the criminals.
Disaster - a story in which Mother Nature herself is the antagonist, in the form of a hurricane, earthquake or some other natural menace.