What is the Difference Between Contemporary and Fiction Genres?

Understanding the difference between contemporary and fiction genres can help readers make informed choices in their reading selections and writers to categorize their works accurately.

Defining Contemporary and Fiction

  • Fiction refers to a genre of literature that stems from the imagination of the writer. It is not bound by factual accuracy and encompasses a wide range of sub-genres including mysteries, romance, thrillers, and more.
  • On the other hand, contemporary refers to anything current or happening right now. So when we talk about Contemporary Fiction, it means fiction that is set in the present time, or in the recent past, and reflects our current societal, cultural, political realities.
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Comparison of Contemporary and Fiction

While all Contemporary Fiction falls under the broader genre of Fiction, not all Fiction can be classified as Contemporary. For example, a book written by Charles Dickens constitutes Fiction but is not contemporary as its plot does not reflect our present or recent past.

Characteristics of Contemporary Fiction

Contemporary Fiction often contains the following attributes:

  • It often reflects the current social, cultural, and political climate. This makes the stories relevant and relatable to modern readers.
  • It encompasses a wide range of styles and subjects, from realistic stories to speculative fiction.
  • Contemporary Fiction is primarily character-driven, creating an emotional connection between the reader and the characters.
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Choosing Your Genre: Contemporary or Fiction

Choosing between Contemporary and Fiction genres can depend on the themes and style of the writing. If the narrative revolves around current events or societal situations, it could be categorised as Contemporary Fiction. However, if the focus is more on the creative process, employing an imaginative storyline without a stringent adherence to the timeline, it falls under the Fiction genre.

Concluding Thoughts

The distinction between contemporary and fiction genres, though subtle, is pivotal. While all contemporary works are a subset of fiction, not all fiction is contemporary. Understanding this distinction can help authors label their work correctly and let readers choose books that cater best to their preferences. Hence, it’s important to remember, Contemporary Fiction brings the reader closer to the realities of the contemporary world, while Fiction allows the privilege of dwelling in the realms of imagination.

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