Differences in the Fantasy, Paranormal, Science Fiction, and Sci-fi Genres


While fantasy, paranormal, science fiction, and sci-fi are all genres of speculative fiction, there are some key differences between them in terms of the themes, settings, and elements that they incorporate.

  1. Fantasy: Fantasy is a genre that typically involves elements of magic, mythical creatures, and otherworldly settings. It often takes place in a world that is different from our own, with its own rules and systems of magic. The focus of a fantasy story is usually on the characters and their journey, rather than on scientific concepts or technologies. Some popular examples of fantasy include J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series.
  2. Paranormal: Paranormal fiction typically involves supernatural elements, such as ghosts, vampires, or werewolves, that interact with the human world. These stories often take place in our own world, with some added paranormal elements. Paranormal fiction often focuses on the struggle between good and evil, and the battle between the supernatural and human characters. Some popular examples of paranormal fiction include Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series and Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse novels.
  3. Science fiction: Science fiction (or “sci-fi”) is a genre that typically involves futuristic or speculative concepts, often based on scientific or technological advancements. These stories often take place in a world that is significantly different from our own and focuses on the impact of these advancements on society and individuals. Science fiction often explores themes of social or political issues, such as government control, artificial intelligence, or climate change. Some popular examples of science fiction include Dune by Frank Herbert and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
  4. Sci-fi: “Sci-fi” is a sub-genre of science fiction that is often more focused on scientific or technological concepts and less on the societal or human impact. It often involves speculative or futuristic technologies and concepts that are central to the story. Some popular examples of sci-fi include The Matrix and Blade Runner.

While there are some similarities between fantasy, paranormal, science fiction, and sci-fi, each genre has its own unique elements and themes. Fantasy often incorporates magic and mythical creatures in its world-building, while paranormal fiction involves supernatural elements interacting with our own world. Science fiction explores technological advancements and their impact on society, and sci-fi focuses on the science and technology concepts themselves.


Writing Paranormal Fiction


Paranormal fiction is a genre of fiction that involves supernatural or paranormal phenomena. This type of fiction often includes ghosts, vampires, werewolves, witches, and other creatures of the supernatural realm. If you want to write paranormal fiction, here are some steps you can follow:

  1. Develop your concept and theme: Start by deciding on your story concept and theme. This is the idea that will drive your story forward. It could be anything from a haunted house to a vampire love story. Once you have your concept, think about what theme you want to explore. Is your story going to be about love, fear, or redemption? Having a clear idea of what you want to explore will help you stay focused as you write.
  2. Build your world: Next, you need to create the world in which your story takes place. This involves not only the physical setting but also the rules of the paranormal universe. Will your vampires be killed by sunlight? Can your ghosts interact with the living? The rules of your world should be consistent and make sense within the context of your story.
  3. Create your characters: Your characters are the heart of your story. Take time to develop them fully, giving them distinct personalities, backgrounds, and motivations. Make sure that their actions and decisions make sense within the context of the story and that they are consistent throughout.
  4. Establish the conflict: All stories need conflict, and paranormal fiction is no exception. Your conflict could be anything from a battle between two supernatural beings to a character struggling to come to terms with their own powers. Whatever it is, make sure that it is compelling and drives the story forward.
  5. Write with atmosphere: Paranormal fiction is all about atmosphere. You want to create a sense of unease and tension throughout your story. Use vivid descriptions and sensory details to transport your readers to your world. Make sure that your tone and language reflect the mood you want to create.
  6. Edit and revise: Once you have a first draft, take time to edit and revise your work. Look for plot holes, inconsistencies, and anything else that might detract from the story. Make sure that your characters are fully developed and that their actions make sense. Finally, make sure that your pacing is appropriate and that your story flows well.

Writing paranormal fiction can be an exciting and rewarding experience. By following these steps, you can create a story that engages readers and transports them to a world of supernatural wonders.

Different Types of Paranormal Fiction

There are various types of paranormal fiction, and here are a few popular ones:

  1. Ghost stories: These stories involve ghosts, spirits, or other supernatural entities that haunt a place or a person. They usually focus on a person’s experience with the supernatural, and the protagonist is often trying to understand or come to terms with the haunting.
  2. Vampire fiction: This type of paranormal fiction involves vampires, who are typically portrayed as immortal beings with superhuman strength and a thirst for blood. Vampire fiction often explores themes of power, mortality, and love.
  3. Werewolf fiction: Werewolves are another popular paranormal creature that appears in fiction. These stories often involve a person who transforms into a wolf-like creature during a full moon and the challenges they face in controlling their primal urges.
  4. Witchcraft and wizardry: These stories involve characters who have magical abilities and practice witchcraft or wizardry. These stories often take place in a world where magic is commonplace and follow the protagonist’s journey as they navigate their magical powers.
  5. Urban fantasy: This genre combines elements of paranormal fiction with elements of urban and contemporary fiction. These stories usually take place in a modern-day setting, and the protagonist is often an ordinary person who discovers a hidden world of supernatural creatures living among humans.
  6. Supernatural romance: This genre combines elements of romance with the paranormal. These stories often involve a human falling in love with a supernatural being, such as a vampire or werewolf.
  7. Paranormal mystery: This type of paranormal fiction involves a mystery or a crime that has a paranormal or supernatural element to it. The protagonist is usually a detective or an investigator who must use their knowledge of the paranormal to solve the case.

Most Popular Paranormal Fiction

It’s difficult to determine the most popular type of paranormal fiction at any given time, as popularity can fluctuate depending on current trends, new releases, and media adaptations. Some of the more popular paranormal fiction sub-genres that have enjoyed significant popularity in recent years include supernatural romance, urban fantasy, and witchcraft and wizardry.

 In particular, supernatural romance has been a consistent favorite among readers for many years. Popular series such as Twilight by Stephenie Meyer and The Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith has contributed to the genre’s continued popularity. Urban fantasy, which often combines elements of paranormal and mystery fiction with a contemporary setting, has also seen a surge in popularity in recent years, with series such as Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files and Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse novels achieving significant success.

The Future of Writing Paranormal Fiction

Paranormal fiction has been a popular genre for many years and continues to attract a dedicated fan base. While the popularity of the genre has fluctuated over time, it remains a viable and profitable area of publishing.

In recent years, many publishers have continued to acquire and release paranormal fiction titles, and there are still many readers who enjoy the genre. With the rise of self-publishing and digital publishing, there are also many opportunities for authors to publish their paranormal fiction independently and reach a wide audience.

That said, like all genres, the success of a paranormal fiction book depends on factors such as the quality of the writing, the strength of the plot, and the author’s ability to market their work. As with any genre, some books will succeed and others may not, but there is still a future for paranormal fiction in publishing for those who are passionate about the genre and willing to put in the work to create engaging stories.


Writing Tropes in Romantic Suspense

Romantic suspense is a genre that blends the elements of romance and suspense. It typically involves a romantic relationship between the protagonist and antagonist, as well as a high level of tension and danger. Tropes are commonly used in this genre to help create the desired atmosphere and storyline. Here are some steps to follow when writing tropes in a romantic suspense novel:

  1. Determine the desired tone and atmosphere: The first step in writing tropes for a romantic suspense novel is to determine the desired tone and atmosphere of the story. Will it be dark and brooding, or light and playful? Will it have a lot of action and suspense, or will it be more focused on the romance? The answers to these questions will help determine which tropes will work best for your story.
  2. Choose your romantic tropes: Once you have determined the tone and atmosphere of the story, it’s time to choose the romantic tropes you want to include. There are many tropes that work well in romantic suspense, such as enemies-to-lovers, forbidden love, and second-chance romance. Choose the ones that best fit your story and characters.
  3. Choose your suspense tropes: In addition to romantic tropes, you will also want to include suspense tropes to help create the desired level of tension and danger. Some popular suspense tropes include the ticking time bomb, the race against the clock, and the hero in peril. Again, choose the tropes that best fit your story and characters.
  4. Weave the tropes together: The next step is to weave the tropes together to create a cohesive and compelling story. The romantic tropes should be integrated into the larger plot, and the suspense tropes should be used to raise the stakes and keep the reader on edge. Make sure that the tropes work together seamlessly and that they enhance the overall story.
  5. Add your own twists: Finally, don’t be afraid to add your own twists to the tropes. While tropes are helpful for creating a framework for your story, you don’t want to rely too heavily on them. Adding your own unique spin to the tropes can help make your story stand out and keep readers engaged.

Writing tropes in a romantic suspense novel involves determining the desired tone and atmosphere, choosing the appropriate tropes, weaving them together, and adding your own twists. By following these steps, you can create a compelling and engaging story that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

How Do Tropes in Romantic Suspense Differ from Other Romance Genres

Writing tropes in romantic suspense differ from other romance genres in a few key ways. While many romance novels share similar tropes, such as the love triangle, the fake relationship, and the friends-to-lovers plotline, the use of these tropes in romantic suspense is distinct.

Here are some ways in which writing tropes in romantic suspense differs from other romance genres:

  1. The presence of danger: Romantic suspense novels include an element of danger that is not typically present in other romance genres. This danger can come in the form of physical threats, such as a stalker or a murderer, or it can be more subtle, such as the threat of secrets being exposed. This danger creates a heightened level of tension and raises the stakes for the characters’ romantic relationship.
  2. The balance between romance and suspense: In romantic suspense, the balance between the romantic plotline and the suspense plotline is critical. While other romance genres may focus more heavily on the romantic relationship, romantic suspense must maintain a careful balance between the two plotlines. If the suspense plotline becomes too dominant, the romance can feel forced or out of place. Conversely, if the romance plotline takes over, the suspense can feel like an afterthought.
  3. The use of tropes to create tension: Tropes are used differently in romantic suspense than in other romance genres. In romantic suspense, tropes are used to create tension and heighten the danger. For example, the trope of the hero in peril can be used to create a sense of urgency and raise the stakes for the romantic relationship.
  4. The resolution of the plotlines: In romantic suspense, the resolution of the plotlines is often more complex than in other romance genres. The romantic plotline and the suspense plotline must both be resolved in a way that is satisfying to the reader. This can be challenging, as the resolution of one plotline can impact the resolution of the other.

Writing tropes in romantic suspense differs from other romance genres in the presence of danger, the balance between romance and suspense, the use of tropes to create tension, and the resolution of the plotlines. These elements make romantic suspense a unique and exciting genre for both readers and writers.

Types of Tropes Used in Romantic Suspense

There are several tropes commonly used in the romantic suspense genre. These tropes are often used to create tension and suspense, while also developing the romantic relationship between the main characters. Here are some of the most popular tropes used in the romantic suspense genre:

  1. Enemies-to-lovers: In this trope, the main characters start out as enemies or adversaries, but gradually develop feelings for each other as they work together to overcome a common threat.
  2. Second chance romance: This trope involves two characters who were previously in a romantic relationship but separated for some reason. They are given a second chance to rekindle their romance as they work together to solve a mystery or overcome a danger.
  3. Fake relationship: In this trope, the main characters pretend to be in a romantic relationship for some reason, such as to deceive a villain or to maintain a cover. However, their fake relationship eventually becomes real as they fall in love.
  4. Protective hero: In this trope, the hero is fiercely protective of the heroine, often putting himself in danger to keep her safe. This trope creates a sense of danger and suspense, as the hero works to protect the heroine from harm.
  5. Amnesia: This trope involves one of the main characters losing their memory and having to work with the other character to recover it. This creates a sense of mystery and suspense, as the characters try to uncover the truth behind the memory loss.
  6. Forbidden love: This trope involves a romantic relationship that is forbidden for some reason, such as being between a boss and an employee or between two people from different social classes. The tension and danger come from the societal or personal pressures that make the relationship difficult.
  7. Stalker or obsession: This trope involves a character being stalked or obsessed over by someone, creating a sense of danger and suspense. The romantic relationship often develops as the characters work to overcome the threat.

These tropes can be used in combination or separately to create a compelling romantic suspense story. They are often used to develop the romantic relationship between the characters, while also creating a sense of tension and danger that keeps the reader engaged.


The Process of Editing and Revising a Novel for Publication

Editing and revising a novel is an essential process in preparing it for publication. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you understand the process of editing and revising a novel for publication:

  1. Take a break: After completing the first draft, take a break from the manuscript for a few days or weeks. This break will allow you to come back to the manuscript with fresh eyes.
  2. Read through the manuscript: Read through the manuscript carefully, noting any inconsistencies, plot holes, or areas that need improvement. Make a list of these issues.
  3. Address plot and character issues: Address any plot or character issues identified during the read-through. Make sure that the plot flows logically, the characters are well-developed, and their motivations are clear.
  4. Revise for structure and pacing: Once the plot and character issues have been addressed, revise the manuscript for structure and pacing. Check that the beginning grabs the reader’s attention, the middle is engaging, and the end is satisfying.
  5. Edit for grammar and punctuation: Once you are happy with the overall structure and pacing of the manuscript, start editing for grammar and punctuation errors. Pay attention to sentence structure, spelling, and grammar mistakes. Use tools like Grammarly to help you identify issues.
  6. Solicit feedback: After making initial revisions, solicit feedback from beta readers or a writing group. Take their feedback into account and make any necessary changes.
  7. Hire a professional editor: Consider hiring a professional editor to edit the manuscript. They will provide objective feedback and help you identify areas that need improvement.
  8. Finalize: After making all the necessary revisions, read through the manuscript one final time to ensure that it is polished and error-free. Consider hiring a proofreader to ensure that there are no lingering errors.
  9. Submit for publication: Once you are happy with the manuscript, submit it for publication. Be prepared to make further revisions based on feedback from publishers or agents.

Editing and revising a novel for publication is a process that requires patience, persistence, and attention to detail. By following these steps, you can ensure that your manuscript is polished, engaging, and ready for publication. Remember that the editing process can take time, so be prepared to revise your manuscript as many times as necessary to ensure that it is the best it can be.

The Challenges and Rewards of Writing in Multiple Genres

I write in multiple genres, and it can be both challenging and rewarding. So far, I’ve written mystery, romance, paranormal, women’s fiction, and a mixture of two or three together. I have two historical books I want to write as well. See below the genres where I’m published.

Here are some of the challenges and rewards that writers may face when writing in multiple genres:


  1. Audience Expectations: One of the biggest challenges of writing in multiple genres is that readers may have certain expectations of the author’s writing style or subject matter based on their previous work. When a writer shifts to a new genre, they may have to work hard to earn the trust and interest of their readers.
  2. Learning New Skills: Each genre has its own rules and conventions. Writing in multiple genres requires the writer to learn the rules of each genre and master the necessary writing skills. This can take time and effort.
  3. Branding: If a writer is known for a particular genre, it can be challenging to establish a brand in a new genre. This is especially true for authors who have built a large following in a particular genre.
  4. Marketing: When an author writes in multiple genres, it can be challenging to market their work effectively. They may need to create different marketing strategies for each genre, which can be time-consuming and expensive.


  1. Creativity: Writing in multiple genres can be a great way to explore new ideas and stretch one’s creativity. The writer can experiment with different writing styles, characters, and themes, which can lead to exciting and unexpected results.
  2. Flexibility: Writing in multiple genres can also make a writer more versatile and adaptable. They can switch between genres based on their mood, inspiration, or market demand.
  3. Broader Audience: Writing in multiple genres can expand an author’s readership by attracting readers who may not have been interested in their previous work. It can also make an author more appealing to literary agents and publishers who are looking for versatile writers.
  4. Intellectual Challenge: Writing in multiple genres can be intellectually stimulating and challenging. It requires the writer to master different styles, techniques, and themes, which can be a rewarding experience.

In conclusion, writing in multiple genres can be a challenging and rewarding experience for writers. While there are challenges to overcome, the benefits of expanding one’s creative horizons and attracting a broader audience can be significant.

For more information on my books visit my website at kimcoxauthor.com

Paranormal Cozy Mystery with Romance and Humor

Lana Malloy Paranormal Mystery Series

Paranormal Romance and Mystery

Wandering Spirits Series – Multi-Author Anthologies

Romantic Suspense and Romantic Mystery Novels

Style & Profile Series and Stand Alone Novels

Women’s Fiction

Love’s Endurance – A Novelette

Contemporary Romance – Short Stories

Compare and Contrast: Romantic Suspense and Romantic Mystery Novels

Romantic Suspense and Romantic Mystery are both subgenres of romance fiction that incorporate elements of suspense or mystery into the romantic plot. To learn the main differences and similarities of these subgenres, keep reading.

Genre Differences

Romantic Suspense novels typically feature a romantic relationship between the main characters that is threatened by a crime or other dangerous events, such as a murder or kidnapping. The suspenseful plot often involves the characters working together to solve the crime or escape danger, while also developing their romantic relationship.

Romantic Mystery novels, on the other hand, typically focus on a mystery or crime that the main characters are trying to solve, with the romantic relationship being a secondary aspect of the plot. These novels often feature an amateur detective, who is typically one of the romantic partners, who is trying to solve a crime or uncover a secret.

Genre Similarities

So what do these two genres have in common? Both genres have the following common elements:

  1. Romance: Both genres feature a romantic relationship between the main characters, which is an important aspect of the plot.
  2. Suspense or Mystery: Both genres involve elements of suspense or mystery, which add tension and excitement to the story.
  3. Character development: Both genres focus on the development of the characters, particularly the romantic relationship between the main characters.
  4. Emotional engagement: Both genres are designed to emotionally engage the readers, drawing them into the story and making them care about the characters and their fates.
  5. Plot-driven: Both genres have a strong emphasis on plot, with the romantic and suspenseful/mysterious elements driving the story forward.
  6. Happy ending: Both genres usually have a happy ending where the romantic couple end up together and the mystery or crime is solved.
  7. Combination of genres: Both genres are a combination of romance and mystery/suspense genres and are designed to appeal to readers who enjoy both.


The two sub-genres are so similar it can be hard to distinguish between them. In romantic suspense, the mystery is secondary to the romance, whereas with romantic mystery, the love interest is secondary. So according to this research, my first romance novel, Suspicious Minds, and my Style and Profiles series novels are in the romantic suspense genre whereas my latest published novel, For the Love of Money, is a romantic mystery.

Photo by Asad Photo Maldives: https://www.pexels.com/photo/man-and-woman-holding-hands-walking-on-seashore-during-sunrise-1024960/




Review: “Laurel’s Quest” (The Cornwall Adventures, Book 1) by Nancy M. Bell

About The Author

Nancy Marie Bell is a proud Albertan and lives near Balzac, Alberta with her husband and various critters.  She is a member of The Writers Union of Canada and the Writers Guild of Alberta. Nancy has numerous writing credits to her name, having three novels published and her work has been published in various magazines. She has also had her work recognized and honoured with various awards, and most recently, a silver medal in the Creative Writing category of the Alberta 55 Plus Summer Games in 2013.  Nancy has presented at the Surrey International Writers Conference in 2012 and 2013, and at the Writers Guild of Alberta Conference in 2014. She has publishing credits in poetry, fiction and non-fiction.

Please visit her webpage  http://www.nancymbell.ca

You can find her on Facebook at http://facebook.com/NancyMBell

Follow on twitter: @emilypikkasso

About The Book

A trip to England sounds like a grand adventure, but Laurel Rowan can’t escape from her true reality. Her mother is terminally ill, and her father needs her to go so he can spend his time at the hospital. On a train to Penzance, Laurel meets a new friend, Coll. On the property of her host, she stumbles upon a magical spring. There she meets the White Lady, who offers her a chance at gaining her heart’s true desire, if only she can solve a riddle.

My Review

Filled With Mystical Wonder

Although Laurel is shipped off to stay with a friend of the family who she doesn’t really know, during a time when she feels she should be at home with her terminally ill mother, she adapts. She finds fast and true friends who help her in a quest that she hopes will save her mother’s life.

Ms. Bell is an artist with words and the computer screen is her canvas. She creates beautiful descriptions of the Cornwall countryside. The legends and mythology are spell bounding. As I read, I found myself wanting to look up the different places Laurel and her friends traveled.

Overall, I found the story enjoyable and filled with mystical wonder.

Get Laurel’s Quest (Book 1 of The Cornwall Adventures) at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B012U4YMQ6/ 

Next Five books and short stories on my reading list are:
A Port in the Storm FREE (Only at Amber Quill Press) Short Story by Elizabeth Delisi
Murder at Cold Creek College by Christa Nardi
The Ruins on Stone Hill (Heroes of Ravenford Book 1) by F. P. Spirit
What’s In A Name? Tales from the Lost Horizon by Michael Eging
Finding Kate by Harmony Kent

Fantasy Authors Unplugged Featuring Daniel Adorno & Thy Kingdom Come

Archer's Aim

This is continuing feature on Archer’s Aim – Fantasy Authors Unplugged. I hope to frequently share an interview with a fantasy author. If you have authors to suggest and/or questions you’d like to see answered then leave a comment or send me an email. If you are a fantasy author and would like an interview please let me know and we’ll plan one that fits your schedule. Today, I welcome back Daniel Adorno who’s sharing his newest title due out on 8/5. Take it away, Daniel!

Archer’s Aim Digest mailing list

TKC-283x400Q. Your latest book is a departure from your previous work with fantasy. How did you come to write a post-apocalyptic science fiction?

A. Originally, I planned to write a scifi novella in three months, but then it snowballed into something greater. I wanted to tackle three personal writing challenges: a new genre, a shorter work of…

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What Makes a Novel a Bestseller?



When you ask a writer how successful they want their novel to be, most will answer they want it to be a bestseller. But what makes a book a bestseller? Are there rules that can be followed to increase a book’s chance of becoming a hit?

Not all bestsellers are well written. Not all bestsellers are recommendable.

Many fantastic stories are forgotten, never heard of, or flop when they hit the shelves.

So what makes a bestseller?

The truth is we really don’t know. We can try to identify commonalities between bestsellers, but at the end of the day Paper Towns is very different from The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, and both those novels are nothing like Fifty Shades of Grey.

But, aren’t there at least a few rules we can glean from bestsellers, even if they are unalike?

“There are three rules for writing. Unfortunately, no…

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