1. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    Deciding the genre of a piece

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by LordKyleOfEarth, Apr 3, 2009.

    I have a story that does not easily fit into a standard classification. Its fantastical, but not heavily so (takes place in modern times, contains no magic, no mythical creatures, etc), it is darkly humorous, contains elements of cheesy actions films, and has veiled socio-political commentary coursing through its veins.

    My question is: how do you pick an appropriate genre to classify your story as? I realize that, to an extent, its a moot point as many publishers will accept multiple types of stories. However since there are some which prefer certain types, I feel it is useful to have a general feel for where you stand.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    To begin with, is it a short story or a novel? If it's a short story that you wish to submit for inclusion in a periodical publication, then what matters is not the genre per se, but how well your story fits in with the material that publication carries. In some cases, there will be very rigid genre guides (romance publishers are poarticularly notorious for that).

    If it's a novel, then the genre classification is a bit less important. If it seems to you to be within the range of fiction that publisher accepts, it's probably worth a query. The publisher can then decide if they believe it is good enough and marketable enough for them to take a chance on it (and you).
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    sounds like it could be 'satire' but no one can really tell without seeing a synopsis... and yes, it would help to know if this is a 'story' or a 'novel'...
     
  4. Castlesofsand
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    Castlesofsand Banned

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    lol Kyle, already i like the sound of that story. haven't a clue what to classify it.

    the strongest element of the story could be selected, has a simcity sound to it.
     
  5. Aeroflot
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    Aeroflot Senior Member

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    Pretty hardcore mainstream to me. Sounds like one of those stories that probably has a sub-sub-pseudo genre-thing that it falls under, but would eventually be thrown into postmodernity because the genre is so obscure that no one has figured out what constitutes the genre. But if measuring with the standard mainstream-horror-fantasy-romance-etc yardstick, then it would go mainstream most def.

    To find out the genre, just think about the content of the work instead of the way it is presented (ie. fragmented). If it's all about real life, then it's probably mainstream, unless it relies heavily on a certain genre like romance or horror. But then you'd notice that right away.

    It's all kinda pointless though trying to figure out the genre. Let the publishers and readers debate over that.
     
  6. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    It is a short story (4200 words-ish).

    The plot basicly follows a rooster living in a city which has come under seige (fictionalized version of Gaza during the last conflict). He Has lived his life in a cage watchign action movies, and once freed, sets out to defend his home city and repel the invaders.
     
  7. Stanito
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    Stanito New Member

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    Please post this when it is written. The synopsis alone has me cracking up.
     
  8. woahkatie
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    woahkatie New Member

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    i have the same problem. i'm currently writing these stories (my goal is to make them into novels) and i dont know what genre to place it in. my stories are based on real people in my life, and how i truely feel about them, and some real/fake scenerios. so what category would that go in?
     
  9. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    We would have to know more about the story to make that call. The characters do not make a genre (usually)
     
  10. Atari
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    Atari Active Member

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    I thought I was writing a fantasy novel, but there is no magic at all. There are mythical creatures and things that could not happen in real life, but I have applied science or pseudo-science to everything. Things that are TOO far-fetched, I decided to say are scientific, we just don't know how it works, yet. (I mean, even in real life, we're not 100% sure how bees can fly)

    My sister says, then, that this is science fiction, rather than fantasy, because everything is attributed to science, rather than magic.
    The story has lots of comedy, deeply-developed characters, unbridled action scenes complete with blood and breaking bones, romantic situations (though certainly not enough to consider this - in any manner - a romance) and much, much adventure.

    I've seen books that have LOTS of action, but are considered comedies. I've seen books with lots of comedy considered action.
    How much 'adventure' causes a book to be an 'action-adventure,' as apposed to just action?
    How much pseudo-science do you need to have before they just throw their arms up in resignation and simply call it a fantasy?

    It has the FEEL of a fantasy adventure, but the technicality of a science fiction. I, however; have always equated 'sci-fi' with aliens and space travel and such.
    (To be honest, though, I don't think I have ANYTHING in my story that has such weak science that people will react the same way they do when they see Ed, from Full Metal Alchemist, call what he does 'science'. I mean, he has to have equal mass displacement, but I don't think anyone seriously considers the way he just creates stuff out of other stuff in seconds to be science.)
     

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