1. fantasy girl
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    fantasy girl Contributing Member

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    has she got the wrong genre?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by fantasy girl, May 25, 2009.

    one of my friends at school just e-mailed me and told me she was writing a realistic-fantasy, is this possible or has she just got the wrong genre?
     
  2. TheHedgehog
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    TheHedgehog Contributing Member Contributor

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    Fantasy is a genre in which fantastic, impossible things occur. Realistic-Fiction is a situation that could happen in real life. The genre contradicts itself. Perhaps she was thinking of a story with a setting and time in the vein of (*shudders*) Twilight, as it has vampires but takes place in a real place in present time with present technology. If that's what she's going for, it's just flat-out fantasy.
     
  3. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    Maybe she feels that the story she is writing doesn't fit into fantasy, so she was trying to find a way to more accurately convey what kind of story it was. Right now, just hearing that she wants to write a realistic-fantasy may sound weird, but maybe later, after knowing more about the story, it will make sense why she chose to classify it as that.
     
  4. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    There are writers like E Nesbit. She has very realistic characters and settings but then, for example, takes them time travelling--The Phoenix and the Carpet; or just throws in a creature that grants wishes--The Five Children and It.

    CS Lewis' Narnia stories are also grounded in very realistic characters and even the fantasy world of Narnia seems down-to-earth. These are kind of 'Realistic Fantasy' stories, I think. And they are my personal favourites (I have to confess that I found Harry Potter one long yawn and had difficulty finishing the first book).
     
  5. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have heard people use the term magic realism. In cases like this, it is mostly real, but there is a fantastical or magical element to it. Whale Rider is a good example. It's mostly a real story, but the character can communicate with whales.
     
  6. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    No, paradoxes are entirely possible. I feel that that's when writing is at its best - when there's contrast, when there's ambiguity. It works fine. You just need to micromanage each individual sentence to make sure it isn't biased towards fantasy or realism.
     
  7. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    Probably not. Realistic fantasy would just be taking a realistic world and placing fantasy elements in it. Twilight, for example, is about a real place, a typical high school setting, but then there are the vampires & werewolves that bring the fantasy into play.
     
  8. fantasy girl
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    fantasy girl Contributing Member

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    so say i had a group of people that believe they have what they call 'the gift', they think they are magic but really its just herbs and chemicals and stuff. would this be classed as fantasy or realistic-fantasy?
     
  9. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    There has to be real fantasy in the story for it to be such. Like w/Twilight, they really were vampires/werewolves. If they were just psycho or deluded and weren't those things, then the story would not be fantasy--more likely it'd be humor fiction or realistic fiction or something.

    So what you've described would not qualify as fantasy since they don't really have the "gift".
     
  10. fantasy girl
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    fantasy girl Contributing Member

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    another question...is witch-craft classed as magic?
     
  11. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes.
     
  12. fantasy girl
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    fantasy girl Contributing Member

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    thanks

    she has just sent me another e-mail, this time with the plot

    "on earth, theres a boy who lives in a little village on the outskirts of wales, with the wize woman of the village (his grandmother)as his pairents died in a car crash when he was a baby. she is what the villagers called the wican mother as she is always healing the villagers with herb concoctions. one day the boy is sent on a short errond to get some more herbs when he is ambushed by these masked figures. and taken to a dark underground tunnle. he is then told to heal this man, who has a lasseration on his back almost an inch deep, he refuses to so the figures threaten him bu sayin they will kill his grandmother. he tries to heal the man but fails and is put on an electric chair, but he has a concoction in his bag that redirects electrisity, he then shocks the figures and excapes."

    personally i think this is more an adventure type thing.
     
  13. starseed
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    starseed Contributing Member

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    Why can't there be realistic fantasy? I've lived a pretty crazy life and I can tell you, weird things happen in real life as well. Then again I believe in most things from the world of "fantasy" so I guess for me it would just be "reality". lol
     
  14. sorites
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    sorites Senior Member

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    I would classify Twilight as paranormal romance.

    I've also heard of magic realism, but don't have any good examples, except maybe Clive Barker's The Great and Secret Show (I haven't read much of his stuff, but this seems to fit).

    I would call Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files urban fantasy. As I understand it, Charles de Lint would fall into this category too, though I have not read his stuff yet.

    I'm not sure what I would classify the OP's friend's story as, but I'd say for it to qualify as "fantasy" it has to have some magic-supernatural-type stuff in it. That doesn't necessarily mean elves or wizards (but it could). It just has to have something we in real life would consider make-believe, but which is actually *real* within the context of the book.
     
  15. A.J.Crowley
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    A.J.Crowley Senior Member

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    Realistic fantasy, isn't that a contradiction in terms.

    To me personally it means fantasy that feels real. Say when you read Lord of the Rings you feel that somewhere there really is a middle earth.
     
  16. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Magic (in my opinion) is anything that is, as far as we know, impossible, and/or cannot be explained scientifically. Fantasy stories also consists of animals/beings that do not exist, whether they have any magic ability or not. So elves/dragons with no magic powers might be considered realistic fantasy because depending on what you see as elves and dragons, they could exist in a scientific sense, but don't. I know a movie that even showed a plausible way that dragons could breathe fire.
     
  17. Atma
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    Atma Member

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    Rei -

    I think I've seen that movie (or I thought it was a book, but no matter) and I've been trying to remember which it was for AGES. Do you remember its name? Thanks :)
    xx
     
  18. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    In the end, does it really matter what genre you think it is vs what genre your friend considers it? How did genres come to be in the first place? People invented them...maybe she's trying to experiment with a new genre for her and see what she can come up with.
     
  19. CharlieVer
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    CharlieVer New Member Contributor

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    Does everything have to fit into a genre?

    Just to be defiant, I'd like to write a fantasy crime mystery suspense comedy for dogs. And make it a biography that's also a self-help reference book. :p

    Let the folks at Barnes and Nobel figure out what shelf to put THAT one on! Ha! :D
     
  20. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Perhaps it would be so difficult to place that you wouldn't even get an agent, let alone a publisher to touch it...
     
  21. Kas
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    Kas Contributing Member

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    I know there are some George Martin fans on this site.. I'm surprised no one has mentioned him here yet. I think he's still the reigning King of realistic fantasy (though he may lose his throne if he doesn't hurry up and finish another book soon!).

    A Song of Ice and Fire is an epic fantasy series set in a very realistic fantasy world, very much like earth in many places, but with unique and quite believable cultures. Much of the fantasy is just mythical history of the land, stories told to children, usually disregarded, especially by the elite. How much is true? Is this story of the Long Night, where humanity was all but wiped out by evil beings just a story? Exagerated truth? People claim there are dark sorcerers accross the sea... Others laugh at them. When someone prays or performs a ritual, intending for another to die, and then the target gets killed in battle... was it just life.. or the hand of the god 'working in mysterious ways'?

    In so many ways it mimics life. Some supernatural things happen which can be easily explained. Many ordinary things happen and are then exagerated to fantasy status. Think of the witch burnings in Europe... were there really witches with magic powers, or just a lot of superstitious and gullible people being led by the nose?

    Some things happen which are obviously magic, but they are generally few and far between, and kept low key.

    However, the most realistic detail is in the characters. This author has created some of the most believable and interesting characters I've ever encountered in fiction. It's also very grim - some would say downright dark and cynical. Most fantasy glosses over the ugliness of life. Martin does not shy away from anything. Nearly all of the characters are understandable and relatable. That means you could end up rooting for two characters on the opposite ends of a battlefield. There are very few black or white characters, but many varying shades of gray.

    The story can read like a terrible piece of history told by a neutral and uncaring historian. Fantasy is an escape from reality, usually full of idealism. So realistic fantasy could be just stripping away all of the gloss and shine to reveal the hideous dark side of human nature, which most people read fantasy to escape from. But wait! There's magic! So it's still fantasy.. lol.

    Everyone seems to have their own idea of what 'realistic fantasy' is, but I can assure you that it does exist. As you can see, I'm a big fan.:D
     
  22. Atma
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    It might be :) I'll watch it anyway, thanks!
     
  23. CharlieVer
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    CharlieVer New Member Contributor

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    You kidding? A fantasy crime mystery suspense comedy for dogs, that's a biography and also a self-help reference book? It would be an instant hit!

    It would also be a coffee table book that folds out to become a coffee table.


    (PS. This entire idea is a joke, of course. The last part, a nod to Kramer on Seinfeld.) :p
     
  24. akania
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    akania Member

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    Im a little confused. You mentioned Witchcraft and Wiccans. Is your friend having them run side by side or is she calling them by the same name? They are very seperate in their practices and within their own circles. The practioners of Witchcraft dont like to be mistaken for Wiccans.

    As already mentioned I'm not sure about Elves and Dragons ( I never say never about anything ;)) but obviously Wiccans and Witches do exist so that wouldnt be fantasy in my opinion.
     

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