1. Dreamsoap

    Dreamsoap New Member

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    Other How Do I Determine The Correct Genre?

    Discussion in 'By the Genre' started by Dreamsoap, Dec 9, 2016.

    So my boyfriend and I (he writes, I draw) have had trouble with this for a long time where we can't seem to find the best category to simplify our story when describing it to people. To start off it contains the following elements:

    - Adventure
    - Fantasy
    - Sci-Fi
    - Action
    - Drama
    - Political
    - Psychological
    - Philosophical

    The dominating themes for the story are drama, political and philosophy. The setting majors in fantasy with a minor in sci-fi. I guess a comparison world would be Final Fantasy 14 however, it's not "high fantasy". We don't go as crazy with the creativity aspect. To give a brief overview of the world. The world used to be a global technocratic empire but internal strife tore it apart and it slowly, slowly dissolved into smaller and smaller parts over the course of a thousands and some years. Arguably still continuing to present day. Most knowledge of engineering, physics and what not that allowed the empire to be as technologically advanced as it was was lost due to the empire's control of that knowledge in a "scholarly" class. Thus as those people died, so did most of the knowledge. Things broke down and no one knew how to fix them. However the concepts remained so when they started rebuilding they were able to get somewhat of a head start through various means of back engineering and experimentation. Today the world globally exists somewhere between the medieval period (16-1700's) and the early industrial age with some knowledge of electricity depending where you go. Magic is also a known and widely practiced part of this world also depending where you go. The story follows the current world and the many factions within struggling for dominance.

    It's important to figure it out because I have to sort the story by genre on comic websites.
     
  2. Jaiden

    Jaiden Member

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    I hate genre's, even though I use them all the time. Weird ey.

    Anyway, sounds like fantasy to me. It has magic, therefore it's fantasy. I wouldn't steer toward adventure, but that's more on my lack of knowledge of your plot and the things the MC's do to achieve the plot.
     
  3. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll Contributor Contributor

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    Sounds a lot like a Fantasy/Sci-fi hybrid. Kinda like Warhammer 40k series. Somethings
    just happen to be dual genre, but I have seen Fantasy in the Sci-fi section. So it can
    really go either way.
     
  4. Dreamsoap

    Dreamsoap New Member

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    Well, fantasy is one half but it doesn't really encompass the theme of the story all on it's own. I wouldn't describe it as adventure because it's not like the characters just meet in a bar, pick up their swords and decide
    "Herp derp, let's go on an adventure!" Adventure happens but not willingly or rather, intentionally.
     
  5. Dreamsoap

    Dreamsoap New Member

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    I wouldn't really it describe it as sci-f/ fantasy because sci-fi is there but it's tech that develops later. The other problem is that they only describe the setting, not the themes of the events.
     
  6. Lea`Brooks

    Lea`Brooks Contributor Contributor

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    Unfortunately, you'll probably have to use the term "fantasy" somewhere because of the magical element. However, there are loads and loads of subgenres for fantasy, so it shouldn't be difficult picking which one works best. Since I don't know your story, though, you'll have to figure that out on your own. Here are some links to get you started:
     
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  7. Jaiden

    Jaiden Member

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    You may utilise sci-fi concepts, but if you have moved beyond a basis in science, and into a world which has no grounding in reality, then you've hit the world of fantasy. There is a term thrown around as Science Fantasy (because sci-fi that utilises faster-than-light travel is fantasy with a grounding in reality, and fantasy that establishes rules for its magic usage, clearly has embedded a scientific principle to their work), which can work. But, for me, as soon as you introduce magic, you've hit the fantasy realm, and nothing can bring you back from there, no matter how many political machinations or science-ing you do.
     
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  8. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll Contributor Contributor

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    Great and I thought Metal had too many subgenres. :p
     
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  9. PenelopeWillow

    PenelopeWillow Member

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    I would have to agree with this. Anytime magic is incorporated into a story it will, typically, be thrust into the Fantasy genre.
     
  10. Jaiden

    Jaiden Member

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    Can't guarantee he said it, but google says he did, so there! :p
     
  11. Dreamsoap

    Dreamsoap New Member

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    Don't know why everyone's saying 'unfortunately' and the like, I know it's a fantasy story. It's just hard to tell what kind it is. Thank you for the list though, we went through and it seems like it'd be something like "Hard Political Fantasy".
     
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  12. Jaiden

    Jaiden Member

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    I certainly didn't mean it as a negative thing.

    As an aside, I hate getting super specific with genres. But labels, schmabels.
     
  13. malaupp

    malaupp Active Member

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    It sounds like a weird mix of fantasy, dystopia, and cyber punk. For me, the presence of magic doesn't necessarily mean insta-fantasy. It depends on whether or not the magic is the focal point. If magic created the conflict and/or needs to be used to solve it, it's fantasy. If it's more of a tool for subplots or a mechanic for creating other conflict (i.e. magic users become a hunted group by the government and they have to use diplomacy to fight back) then you could say it was more drama or political.
     
  14. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    Thanks :cool:

    My WIP is a Hard, Dark "Heroic" (villain protagonists, but the same basic structure pointed in the opposite direction) Contemporary/Urban Fantasy – with references to an Alternate World of Magical Realism and Science Fantasy – and the main supernatural character is a Vampire mage.

    So we're talking Low/Mundane Political Fantasy?
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2016
  15. pitviper

    pitviper Member

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    I didn't play FF14. My fave is 7. Since 7, I've played 8-10. Currently watching my son play 15. But as far as I'm concerned, every FF since 7 has sucked.
    If magic is involved, it's Fantasy. End of story.
     
  16. antlad

    antlad Banned

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    Why ask an impossible question? I seriously doubt these sites leave everything up to you.
    Are there drop down selections? How many? What are they? Are there more than one, so you can mix & match? Can you make up your own tags? Are there other works that are similar? What did they use?
     
  17. SadStories

    SadStories Active Member

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    I'm pretty sure what you're describing is simply "science fantasy", like Star Wars and Final Fantasy. You can probably go into even larger detail though, like when you call it "hard political fantasy", or even lesser detail -- like how Star Wars is commonly described as science-fiction while Final Fantasy is often called fantasy simply because one most prominently has space ships while the other has swords and monsters. Genres are just loose labels and the correct label always depends on context. For example it might say "science fantasy" in the Wikipedia article where they like it simple and specific while you might want to look for an agent who does fantasy as science fantasy agents may be rare and sci-fi agents might find the genre mixing more jarring, etc., etc. So I second we need to know about how that comic website works.
     
  18. pitviper

    pitviper Member

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    I will reiterate: if there is magic (or "magick"), it is Fantasy. The end.
     
  19. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    But there are subcategories of fantasy...

    If someone asks what kind of pet someone has, and is told it's a dog, and then asks what breed of dog, we don't say "I will reiterate: it is a dog. The end." At least, hopefully we don't...
     
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  20. OJB

    OJB A Mean Old Man Contributor

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    Utter and completely wrong.

    Take a look at Clive Barker's 'A Hellbound heart.' There is magic in that and it is all Horror.
     
  21. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Or Bernard Cornwell's Arthur trilogy - magic present, but not fantasy ( The Winter King , Enemy of God, Excalibur)
     
  22. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    As I remember those books (and it's been a while, so maybe I don't remember them too well...) the magic was a sort of "if you squint, you could think it's magic" type - like, it's not the in-your-face, incontrovertible magic-is-real approach we see in many fantasy books. Could be a series of coincidences, mass hysteria, careful psychological manipulation... or... magic!
     
  23. jjwiggin

    jjwiggin Member

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    Does it matter?
    Is Paranormal a genre?
     
  24. Rosacrvx

    Rosacrvx Contributor Contributor

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    I've seen it categorised as a genre. But I would love to see an example of "paranormal" that doesn't fit into horror or another broader genre.
    I'm actually thinking of "Medium", a show where a psychic helped the police catching criminals. Apart from the psychic part, it was a police procedural.
     

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