Genre

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CageSage
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Genre

Postby CageSage » Wed, 06 Feb 2019 8:55 am

https://writerswrite.co.za/the-17-most- ... ey-matter/

Genre is important, it's the category of your story and readers expect to get a particular 'feeling' and shape to the story ... feeling? Yes, of course.
How do they name genre? By the emotional response expected of that story.
Horror - you will experience fear and horror
Thriller - you will be thrilled and excited
etc.

The wide umbrella of speculative fiction should really be called - wait for it - wonder! Well, I think it should - I expect to feel a sense of wonder and amazement when I read those stories.

Anyone feel differently? Comments?

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PaulE
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Re: Genre

Postby PaulE » Wed, 06 Feb 2019 3:23 pm

Speculative fiction is a very large umbrella term, which would make it hard to pin one emotional response to it.

I consider horror speculative fiction, and you rightly point out the expected emotional response is fear. Hard SF is also speculative fiction, and that's more likely to prompt an intellectual response.

What, would you say are, are the differences between Magic Realism and Urban Fantasy?
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CageSage
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Re: Genre

Postby CageSage » Wed, 06 Feb 2019 3:41 pm

Under the over-arching feeling of 'wonderment' comes the more specific feeling.
Horror holds a sway of wonderment - what we are capable of when faced with the issues of life and death, of monsters and fears that are beyond understanding. We reach beyond what we believe to be true to find the strength to overcome.

For one of my stories written as urban fantasy is the sense of wonder that comes from the idea that 'others' drop off here for 'educational/research' purposes. the deeper sense of the story, though, is the sense that everyone loves their children, so a recognition of 'we're not so different, after all'. A sense of wonder, but also a mirror ...

Hard Sci-Fi is a sense of wonder at how far we can go with the ideas that can brew from our minds and our need to ' seek' beyond the known.

This is only how I feel about it, and I'm still learning (and because genre changes over time, will be always on the path of learning/adapting). I'm happy to hear as many different veins of discourse as are open ... and

Magic Realism? No idea - anyone? I'd be happy to learn, or even to try ...

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Rkcapps
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Re: Genre

Postby Rkcapps » Wed, 06 Feb 2019 4:54 pm

I definitely agree, genre determines the emotional experience the reader wants. Not sure how to differentiate magic realism and urban fantasy. Could you say magic realism is wonder based in a make believe world whereas urban fantasy is wonder based in a real world?

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AJ Konlucko
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Re: Genre

Postby AJ Konlucko » Thu, 07 Feb 2019 11:05 am

This is an interesting discussion. Are the lines hard and fast or does some scope exist to fudge these a bit?

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CageSage
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Re: Genre

Postby CageSage » Thu, 07 Feb 2019 11:44 am

In my opinion, the lines can't be hard and fast because otherwise there would be no change, and in the last couple of decades there have been new forms of genre, so maybe these are a reflection of the new forms of emotional context of stories?

Techno-thriller - a person who'd be interested in reading this would be ...

For me, it's about what emotional I want the reader to feel, and then the background of the story, and how it goes together.
I love writing about Australia, I like a bit of wonderment at the sense of what's behind the 'mask', so a bit of urban fantasy (light sci-fi) doesn't sound so far-fetched. A sense of wonder from a place everyone can visit ... so wonder-based in a real world.

Genres are forever being forged and melded and reshaped, but in the end, to think about how the story would make a reader 'feel' is what helps me decide where the story belongs to get the 'right' reader.

And if that makes sense ... No, I'm still trying to figure it out!

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Re: Genre

Postby CageSage » Thu, 07 Feb 2019 3:48 pm

This has a bit more info for anyone interested:

http://www.flls.org/wp-content/uploads/ ... e-2017.pdf

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PaulE
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Re: Genre

Postby PaulE » Thu, 07 Feb 2019 4:53 pm

Quite comprehensive, though I see they have a "Fiction A-Z" for everything that they couldn't fit into a genre. I'm also not completely convinced about the allocation of age categories for some of these. No adult fairy tales or folk-lore inspired fiction? Horse stories (surprised it has it's own sub-genre) only for 9-12 year olds?

Genre is really only a marketing convention, so a bookshop knows where to put it on the shelf, or Amazon knows what tags to apply.
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CageSage
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Re: Genre

Postby CageSage » Thu, 07 Feb 2019 5:23 pm

That's true, and I always check out how different bookshops shelve certain items, but as a writer, I'm always looking at what a reader expects when I label the story as one thing or the other - and it seems to mainly come down to what the reader expects to 'feel'. And to have the genre names so closely associated with feelings is a big hint - if I pick up a horror book, I'd better have a moment or six of hand over the mouth, eyes wide, backed into the corner, heart beating, dry-mouthed consternation.

I have a lot of difficulty trying to find just the right label to put on the stories, and by keeping my focus on the 'feeling' associated with the general shape of the story ... well, let's just say I hope to do better at letting readers know what to expect.

I have yet to find a definitive article (even the BISAC codes seem to be lacking in some areas) that's easy to slot into ...
Just have to keep looking, keep writing, keep shouldering-in to those boundaries.

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Re: Genre

Postby CageSage » Thu, 07 Feb 2019 7:02 pm

Maybe some of the wider scope genre classifications (space sci-fi as an example) should come down to 'wander' first, then 'wonder' ... the 'what's around this corner' thought/feeling from a wandering spirit?


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