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What's your sub-genre?
Posted: Monday, March 21, 2011 3:36 AM
Joined: 3/13/2011
Posts: 245

When you write your fantasy, do you find yourself gravitating toward one specific sub-genre time and again or do you try your hand at lots of different areas?

For me, I'm branching all over.  A little high fantasy, a little contemporary.  I might try my hand at some others down the road.  I have to confess to not being too familiar with sub-genres outside those two.

Posted: Monday, March 21, 2011 1:38 PM
Joined: 3/15/2011
Posts: 15

I generally switch between urban fantasy and traditional fantasy. I don't tend to view any of my projects as "high" or "epic."
Michael R Underwood
Posted: Monday, March 21, 2011 6:38 PM
Joined: 3/3/2011
Posts: 74

I've been trying to make my way through a variety of fantasy sub-genres, from short work to novels.

My novel on BC is Weird Fiction/New Weird infused with the superhero sub-genre. My current novel-in-progress is an Urban Fantasy. My personal sweet-spot is probably 'traditional' fantasy, secondary-world pre-modern settings, thanks to my mythology/folklore background. However, I tend to shy away from the traditional fantasy races unless I'm also trying to do something else with the setting (there are elves and gnomes in one story, but that one is as much Weird West as Traditional Fantasy).
Robert C Roman
Posted: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 2:34 AM
Joined: 3/12/2011
Posts: 383

I'm actually not sure. I've done Urban Fantasy, Contemporary Fantasy. I've got a few ideas for a traditional fantasy, but it's fairly far back on the list.
Posted: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 3:15 AM
Joined: 3/13/2011
Posts: 224

I write traditional or epic fantasy with action/adventure, mystery, thriller and romance sub-genres.
MB Mulhall
Posted: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 2:01 PM
Joined: 3/14/2011
Posts: 81

For fantasy I seem to stick with traditional and maybe some contemporary. I try to stay away from high fantasy because I don't personally like reading a lot of it (short of a couple of series). Too much world building/politics puts me to sleep. It needs to be worked into the plot to move things forward and not slow it down.

I write genres other than fantasy so that's where I do my branching out.
Carla Luna Cullen
Posted: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 4:23 PM
Joined: 3/13/2011
Posts: 8

I'm not really sure how to categorize myself, because I write what would be called "historic fantasy." It's similar to the work of Guy Gavriel Kay, in that it's set in a world that resembles our own but it's imaginary (kind of like the way the setting in Kay's "The Lions of Al-Rassan," paralleled Moorish Spain. In my case, my "world" resembles 15th - 16th c. Middle East/Asia, but with different lands/empires. My stories have political intrigue, but a strong romantic element, as well.

I like reading high/epic fantasy and anything with an historic element.
MB Mulhall
Posted: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 10:09 PM
Joined: 3/14/2011
Posts: 81

I just love finding other Kay fans. Are you Canadian? They seem to be the only ones who had ever heard of him.
Ava DiGioia
Posted: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 10:51 PM
Joined: 3/7/2011
Posts: 39

I have often termed my writing as historical fantasy. I like to take different periods of history and find a way to twist it into the fantastical.

Other than that, I'm pretty traditional. I like taking fairy tales and myths and creating a "believable" turn to them.

Which may seem weird since the story I decided to do as my novel starts in a modern setting.
Posted: Thursday, March 24, 2011 12:31 AM
Joined: 3/13/2011
Posts: 245

Fun stuff! I love hearing what other people write. There are so many areas to write in that everyone can find a home where they are comfortable. Love it!
Posted: Saturday, March 26, 2011 5:15 AM
Joined: 2/27/2011
Posts: 15

branching around. Depends on my mood and what I've been listening to. For some reason NPR makes me want to write nothing but high fantasy with lots of elves. The Fray makes me want to write urban fantasy. Yoko Kanno or Yuki Kajiura multi-cultural fantasy. :shrugs:
Posted: Monday, March 28, 2011 1:39 AM
Joined: 3/13/2011
Posts: 245

That is so interesting, Lexi. NPR leading to fantasy? That's definitely a new one. Thanks for sharing!
Colleen Lindsay
Posted: Tuesday, March 29, 2011 7:21 PM
Joined: 2/27/2011
Posts: 356

Ignore this; testing respond functionality on an iPad.
Robert C Roman
Posted: Thursday, March 31, 2011 11:42 AM
Joined: 3/12/2011
Posts: 383

@Carla / MB - I've heard of Kay, read one of his series a while back, but... didn't like it terrible much. Don't get me wrong; it was very well done, and some parts were fantastic, but one or two of the major characters in what I read rubbed me entirely the wrong way.

But, and this is entirely because of your comment, I'm not Canadian and I've heard of him
Posted: Saturday, April 2, 2011 3:21 AM
Joined: 3/9/2011
Posts: 16

I dabble in random sub-grenres even within the fantasy novels I am currently writing. I have an epic fantasy started, general fantasy, paranormal fantasy, along with future ideas for urban fantasy, and a mix of both adult and YA.

My bigger problem is sometimes I have a hard time figuring out the exact genre to list. One of mine I'm struggling between sci-fi and fantasy because the powers are caused by genetic mutations, which feels more like sci-fi but many of them aren't very realistic. And my new young adult novel I started in March feels a bit like Dystopian but with the magic mixed with science to make the border to protect the village from monsters, I'm just not sure.
Robert C Roman
Posted: Saturday, April 2, 2011 11:59 AM
Joined: 3/12/2011
Posts: 383

@Dawn - I'm right there with you. I've got a SteamPunk series out that has Mad Scientists and Zombies, which pushes it toward Gothic Horror, but the bulk of the action has to do with the military, which makes me think Military Fiction, but there a lot of romantic sub-plots, so...

Yeah, and that's my *easiest* to quantify one.
Posted: Monday, April 4, 2011 2:39 AM
Joined: 3/9/2011
Posts: 16

@Robert - Wow. Mad Scientists and Zombies? I've only read one zombie book and don't even like military fiction usually but you have my attention. Many of my other books are easier to label. There is paranormal romance (with a bit of urban fantasy), contemporary YA, mystery (not sure what kind yet) and the epic fantasy. It's certain other ones that are trying to be in gray areas I will struggle with until they get put on a bookshelf and even then I may not be sure. At least they are fun to write.
Alexander Hollins
Posted: Monday, April 4, 2011 6:28 PM
Joined: 3/13/2011
Posts: 416

Heh, I have a sort of mad scientist zombie idea as well, basically the zombie plague being part of a bio-remediation experiment gone wrong.
Tara Kollas
Posted: Tuesday, April 5, 2011 1:17 AM
Joined: 3/12/2011
Posts: 19

I've only written urban fantasy so far. But the MS is as much a police procedural as it is urban fantasy.
Jessie Kwak
Posted: Friday, April 8, 2011 4:12 PM
Joined: 3/29/2011
Posts: 27

@Carla, I've been calling what I write historical fantasy, as well, for lack of a better term. My work isn't particularly magical, but my wip's world is inspired by 18th century Latin American politics.

I like that term, but I don't really see it used much in the publishing world. Can you think of any published examples?
Posted: Sunday, April 10, 2011 12:56 AM
Joined: 3/13/2011
Posts: 245

I love how we all have been able to find our own little home in the realm of fantasy and such.

Anyone write revisionist type fantasy? I'm thinking Jasper Fforde (whose books are usually found in the general fiction section). He has an entire world that he's created as sort of a "What if this never happened? What would England look like now?"

In his case, the Crimean war never ended.
TM Thomas
Posted: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 1:39 AM
Joined: 4/25/2011
Posts: 6

I tend to dwell mostly in the areas of contemporary and urban fantasy. I like the use of the "real" world mixed with fantastic elements. Not the most original answer, ever, but I've always enjoyed stories that juxtapose people from our time/reality with other realities.
Blakely Chorpenning
Posted: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 4:38 AM
Joined: 4/26/2011
Posts: 26

I definitely have ideas for just about any genre, but I enjoy writing urban fantasy and supernatural the most. My completed manuscript (which I need to stop obsessively editing) is urban fantasy. I have a few short stories that, I suppose, would just be "weird". I love monsters, whether they are fantasy or human. Right now I'm working on a YA project that hints at something supernatural, but focuses mostly on real world issues.
Posted: Wednesday, April 27, 2011 12:11 PM
Joined: 4/6/2011
Posts: 31

Another Kay fan here, and I'm not Canadian either. He has a talent I envy for coming up with very striking, even brilliant *moments*, but his overall plotting can be so-so (IMO, of course). The central question from Lions of Al-Rassan ("What should a man *strive* for?") could be taken as the heart of all fictional endeavor, and I love him for asking it.

On the original question, I am all over the map. I've spent most of my still-embryonic career on a traditional fantasy. The current WIP is space fantasy. The next project is urban fantasy (though a little old-fashioned, as I understand the genre). Most of the writers I really admire move around a lot in their subject matter.
KJ Bledsoe
Posted: Thursday, April 28, 2011 9:33 PM
Joined: 4/28/2011
Posts: 11

I love reading high fantasy, but so far I haven't found my writing brain gravitating that direction. I tend to write urban fantasy, but the "urban" environment keeps being somewhere other than Earth -- I've written a couple things in fantasy worlds and another on Mars. (I still classify the latter as fantasy rather than scifi; to me, the fantasy elements outweigh the fact that they're living in domes and have a higher level of technology than we do. But it's really a mix.)

It seems like a lot of people's work falls into a mix of subgenres. I like that! Just like people are never just one thing and don't fit nicely into a single label, neither do our stories.
Posted: Friday, April 29, 2011 12:32 AM
Joined: 4/26/2011
Posts: 8

I grew up on high fantasy, but Stephen R Donaldson slew the hero's journey and George RR Martin conquered the swords and sorcery epic, and there's just not a whole lot more ground to cover that isn't already littered with a million fine but undistinguished novels. Besides, I'm not that good at the gritty realism that inflects my favourite fantasy books, so I stick to fables and tales of slow dread, magic realism and creeping horror.
Blakely Chorpenning
Posted: Friday, April 29, 2011 2:04 AM
Joined: 4/26/2011
Posts: 26

Actually, I just posted a flash fiction piece titled And I Heard a Man Call My Name. I usually do not write flash, but I had written some prompts down earlier, and during my hour long car ride home I pretty much wrote the bulk of it in my head. At least I caught it before it fled. I think I needed this feeling of accomplishment (though it was a small project) to get revved for my longer projects. And I needed to step away from the urban fantasy for a moment and work on the weird.
Amy Sandbak
Posted: Sunday, May 1, 2011 8:44 PM
Joined: 5/1/2011
Posts: 1

I'm struggling with categorizing my WIP, and I hope my fellow Book Country "citizens" (is there an actual term for Book Country followers?) will be able to help me when I eventually upload my book. For now, I'm calling it High/Epic Fantasy, because it occurs in another world and has magic. But Sasquatch and other American monsters are a part of everyday life in the world I've created, which doesn't sound quite like High Fantasy to me. For now, I think I'll consider it "High Fantasy", although "Weird Fiction" may be a more appropriate label.
Mike R
Posted: Monday, May 2, 2011 2:16 AM
Joined: 4/27/2011
Posts: 6

My last three projects were:

Sword & Sorcery
Historical Western Fantasy
Contemporary Fantasy

So, i move a round a little.

Next one is a Sci-Fi unless something else invades my mind.
Alex Hollingshead
Posted: Monday, May 2, 2011 9:27 PM
Joined: 5/2/2011
Posts: 61

I mix and match, a bit of Traditional, a bit of Weird, and a good bit of Interstices. And then some other genres, too. A couple of *punks and a healthy dose of Western for taste.
Posted: Sunday, June 24, 2012 3:48 PM
I write paranormal fiction for adults and young adults.

Elizabeth Moon
Posted: Wednesday, July 18, 2012 2:11 AM
Joined: 6/14/2012
Posts: 195

In books (so far) it's epic fantasy, set in an invented world.  So far there are three groups: the first three books centered on one character, two books set ~500 years earlier centered on a legendary hero-saint, and the current group, following on from the first but with different POV characters as protagonists.  It will be five books when it's done.  The structure of the world is taken from late medieval/early Renaissance...plus magic and nonhuman races of magic-users. 

In short fiction, everything from the almost slapstick "Chicks in Chainmail stories (series of anthologies edited by Esther Friesner and published by Baen) to fairy tale variants ("The Happy Frog") to horror ("Clara's Cats") to historical fantasy ("Knight of Other Days") and several stories set in the same world as the books.   So far, no zombies, vampires, urban fantasy, paranormal...but that's not saying it might not wander into my head.

Timothy Maguire
Posted: Wednesday, July 18, 2012 12:46 PM
Joined: 8/13/2011
Posts: 272

For me, I tend to bounce between various different genres. Just the stories I've actually finished bounce between military SF, epic fantasy and urban fantasy. I mean, I'm currently working on a fantasy space opera at the moment. I'm not even sure if that is a genre.

I do find, however, that I tend to return to the same themes again and again. I'm a sucker for monsters, superpowers and action, so that tends to come up a lot. I'm also quite fond of defying destiny, so again, that comes up a lot. So I guess it's more I write themes, not specific genres.

Posted: Wednesday, July 18, 2012 7:09 PM
Joined: 6/26/2012
Posts: 2

My favorite sub-genres to read are dystopia and steampunk. But as a writer, I find it difficult to even try to compete with my favorite authors. So my in-progress YA Fic is of the supernatural variety.

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