Historical = a story that took place in the past, often a long time ago.
Horror = a story that is extremely scary.
Humor = a story that makes you laugh.
Magical realism = a story that seems mostly real, but has some magical parts to it, so that you’re not quite sure if it really happened.
Memoir = a specific part of your own life.
Metaphor = a direct comparison between two things without “like” or “as” (my life is a garbage dump).
Middle Grade = a book for 4th through 8th-graders (approximately). The protagonist is usually aged eight to twelve years.
Mystery = a story with lots of secrets. Often, a crime has been committed.
Pacing = how quickly or slowly a story seems to move. This will vary depending on what’s happening at different points in the story.
Protagonist = the main character(s) in a story.
Realistic = a story told in the real, present-day world. Also known as Contemporary fiction.
Romance = a love story.
Science Fiction = a story based on science (can be made-up science). It often takes place in the future or on some other planet.
Showing = revealing a picture of a scene or how someone feels through an interesting detail (the petals drooped) or a character’s actions or dialogue (He raced to the door. “They’re here!”). This is a tough one for many writers to understand!
Simile = an obvious comparison between two things, usually including the words “like” (her hair stuck out like a frightened cat’s) or “as” (as stinky as a landfill on a hot day)
Suspense/Thriller = a story in which the character(s) always seem like they’re about to die or be seriously injured.
Telling = directly stating what something is or how someone feels, often by using a boring verb (the flowers were wilted) or an “emotion” word (he felt impatient). This is a tough one for many writers to avoid!
Voice = the “feel” or personality of a story. See if you can describe a story with one powerful word!
Young Adult = a book for teenagers. The protagonist is usually aged thirteen to eighteen years. The themes are often more intense than those in Middle-Grade books (romance, death, etc).Can’t find the word you’re looking for? Go to the Submit page and let us know, so that we can add it!