Monday, December 11, 2017

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Dark Fiction.

Dark Fiction, let's define. Fiction that is dark in both setting and themes which explore the more grim side of humanity. It may contain elements of Horror, but it isn't written with the sole purpose of scaring the reader. Since Dark refers more to a story's mood and themes it can be applied to a variety of different genres. Herein lies the confusion, for me anyway.

So, if you write Dark Fiction and have a difficult time deciding which genre your story falls into, know you are not alone. Several genres have similar elements, and then there are like a bajillion sub-genres and sub-sub-genres that it is hard to decipher. Okay, I might be over-exaggerating, but still, there is a ton to wade through, and why does it matter?

Well, besides telling booksellers where to shelf your book, genres are also about readers expectations. Each genre has its own set of conventions that a reader expects to find when they pick up that book and if it doesn't meet those expectations, then you can expect some scathing reviews and a myriad of other unfavorable things could happen. Needless to say, it behooves an author to do their research and pick a suitable genre for their work. A good place to start researching genres, in general, is at They also have examples of books for each category which is very useful.

To help decipher the different Dark Fiction genres, I created this cheat sheet which focuses on the main element/s that drives a particular story. While it by no means covers every possible genre and sub-genre it focuses on those which tend to cross elements and can be the most confusing.

What do you think, Night Writers, are there other Dark Fiction genres that have crossover elements you find hard to determine? Are there any other unique identifiers that should be added to these genres? Let me know what think in the comments.

As always, Night Writers, stay beautifully haunted!

❤ Shadow.

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