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Since the time of Aristotle, readers have divided work into genres, or categories. The detective story is a genre. When you read one, you have certain expectations. In a detective story, you can expect that there will be a crime; that there will be a criminal; that the story will focus on a person or a group who will try to apprehend the criminal; and that there will be an important discovery near the conclusion of the book. Some novels or stories will draw from overlapping genres, and the location of a particular piece of literature in a particular genre is often the source of debate among scholars.

Local color

Local color is fiction, usually in the form of a short story, that tries to convey the speech, customs, and flavor of a particular region.  Local color is often marked by dialect writing. Charles Chesnutt's The Conjure Woman (and other stories) (1899) is a collection of stories that describes central North Carolina immediately after the Civil War.

George Washington Cable, Thomas Nelson Page, and Kate Chopin are among the most famous local color authors.

Romance: Adventure Stories

Adventure stories are a kind of romance. Among the elements of the adventure story are danger, pursuit, and combat. Some of the first recorded stories, like Gilgamesh and Ulysses, are adventure stories. According to Tzvetan Todorov, the emphasis in the adventure story is on the verb (the action) while the subject is almost invisible. Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island (1881-85) is probably the most famous adventure story from this period. If we broaden the genre a little, Tom Sawyer and Moby Dick can be considered adventure stories. According to Robert Kiely, nineteenth-century adventure stories involve a boy or young man whose father is dead or absent, replaced by a "romantic opposite, dusky and disreputable" (Robert Louis Stevenson and the fiction of Adventure, 72) like Queequeg or Long John Silver.