Genre This, Genre That

Hmmmm, what genre to choose... (public domain - pixabay)

Hmmmm, what genre to choose…
(public domain – pixabay)

I’m not even sure how to define this….thing I’m working on, my newest work-in-progress. A young adult dragon novel. I really thought it was fantasy but after some discussion I’m not so sure where in the fantasy realm it falls. Urban? Dystopian? Both sub-genres I want to stay away from due to a market already drowning in so much of it.

In my quest for defining genres I did come across some great posts:

Genres Explained: A post by guest blogger Chuck Sambuchino which uses actual literary agent quotes to define various genres. My favorite line in this post was how writers will say they can’t explain the genre because it’s never been done before and how every time an agent hears that, a kitten explodes. That made me laugh.

Fantasy Writing: Here’s Chuck Wendig’s 25 list of things you should know when writing fantasy. It’s a humorous take on the elements that make fantasy the genre it is. Pretty entertaining.

Even if you’re not looking to publish your manuscript traditionally or you’re not a fantasy buff, these two posts are a fun read. Enjoy!

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6 Responses to Genre This, Genre That

  1. Reading those posts, did you figure out where your novel falls?

    Liked by 1 person

    • married2arod says:

      Lol….not quite. I think I can get away for queries sake calling it just fantasy. It has a contemporary feel to it. I bounced the idea around to fellow writers. It’s still early in the writing process, but I don’t want to do a rewrite after I’m finished. I’d rather work on big pictures issues now.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, that’s pretty tricky. I never can tell where my work fits either. If you don’t mind me asking, how do dragons and contemporary come together? That sounds really interesting.

        Liked by 1 person

      • married2arod says:

        This is where I’m afraid it may fall into urban or dystopian. It’s set a century from now where the world is now populated by dragons that were long thought extinct. So it does follow the rules of contemporary society with some of our modern technology. And the only fantastical element is the dragons…the dialogue has a contemporary feel to it as well. A writer friend of mine suggested I throw in more magic and make it a made-up planet, but I don’t know if I’m up for that kind of world building. I like how the contemporary feel makes it less medieval. My other writer friend said the dragons are enough to make it fantasy. Thoughts?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t think it’s fantasy if that’s the case. I think you need to build a world to have a fantasy novel. (I’m not an expert, though!) I think it’s a good idea on your part to not build a fantasy world. You’re right that the contemporary feel adds a unique twist. If you write a fantasy world where dragons thought long extinct come back, well, that’s been done a lot. Most recently in Game of Thrones. But if you put it in a contemporary setting, that makes it a whole different thing, which is good.
    As far as genre though, I don’t know. I’d be tempted to say urban fantasy, but I know that generally has more to do with werewolves and vampires and whatnot. So the genre specifying will be difficult, but I think sometimes books that straddle genres are a good thing. Something fresh and new. I think it’s a really cool concept.

    Liked by 1 person

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