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"fantasy" versus "supernatural ghost story"

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moshi View Drop Down
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    Posted: 20 Jul 2007 at 6:49am

Is there a difference here? Is one subsumed in the other?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ABEAR111 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2007 at 6:55am
When I think "fantasy", I think pixies and faries and minataurs and Alice in Wonderland, yada yada yada.
Supernatural ghost story leans more toward horror in my mind, though it wouldn't necessarily have to be horror.
I think a lot of the genres cross over.
Which one do you have?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aurora68 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2007 at 7:06am
Originally posted by moshi moshi wrote:

Is there a difference here? Is one subsumed in the other?



Well, a ghost story has to have a ghost!

Fantasy just has to contain some sort of magical element. It can be intimidating to think about, if you're thinking you have to re-create Middle Earth. It's important to remember that you don't have to do that. Any kind of magical element will do. Sure, fairies and minotaurs will work. But so will wishes that come true (Big, Liar Liar), magical objects (The Indian in the Cupboard), mythical creatures (Splash), and tons of other things.
    
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2007 at 7:09am
Do you think that having a fantastical element, not a ghost, but a soul or spirit....is coming so close to ghost story that it may be disqualified for breaking genre?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aurora68 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2007 at 7:20am
So I'm guessing you have "ghost story" as a genre? I would think a soul or a spirit could qualify. Ultimately you just have to use your best judgment, but since a ghost is typically believed to be the soul of someone who's died, I would guess that would be fine.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2007 at 7:27am
No I have fantasy as a genre :).
 
Normally, I wouldn't have any issue with my piece, but the fact that NYCMidnight chooses to define "Ghost story" as it's own genre worries me.  I would assume that Ghost story would be a subgenre of Horror, or Thriller, or Fantasy...but because it's separate, it worries me in terms of automatic disqualification :).


Edited by moshi - 20 Jul 2007 at 7:32am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aurora68 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2007 at 7:35am
In that case, I think it's fine. They do have several genres that are really subgenres -- Slasher, Monster Movie and Ghost Story are all subgenres of Horror. Suspense is a Thriller subgenre. Romantic Comedy is a comedy subgenre, and so on.

I think that as long as you have some sort of supernatural and/or fantastic element -- and if you have a spirit, you do -- you should be fine.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GeneD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2007 at 7:57am
I wouldn't categorize a ghost story as a fantasy, and I can see why they would put it in its own category.  In most stories, when people die, they are dead and that's the end of it.  Because they have to or there's nothing at stake for anyone.  Ghost stories are their own category because they violate the one law-- perhaps the most important law-- that no other story would or should violate.
http://www.nycmidnight.com/forums/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=802
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aurora68 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2007 at 8:04am
I agree, up to a point. I think there are certain stories that are clearly ghost stories -- like The Others, for example. Other stories can have ghosts or spirits (in a non-horror setting) and be considered a fantasy. An example would be Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones, which is being filmed by Peter Jackson. The entire story is narrated by a spirit, but in no way would I call it a ghost story.   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GeneD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jul 2007 at 8:13am
Originally posted by aurora68 aurora68 wrote:

I agree, up to a point. I think there are certain stories that are clearly ghost stories -- like The Others, for example. Other stories can have ghosts or spirits (in a non-horror setting) and be considered a fantasy. An example would be Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones, which is being filmed by Peter Jackson. The entire story is narrated by a spirit, but in no way would I call it a ghost story.   
 
I suppose, but in The Lovely Bones and in American Beauty (which did the same thing, only one didn't know [Spoiler] Spacey's character was dead until the end) a narrative device was being employed.  The audience's relationship with the story is artificial already, and having someone who was a part of the story but is no longer-- for whatever reason-- narrate is a hoary device that turns up all over the place.  The narrator isn't really part of the story itself, and thus the story does not hinge upon a ghost, and therefore it is not a ghost story.
 
If you took the ghost narrator out of The Lovely Bones you'd still have a story.  If you took the ghosts out of The Others, you would not.  That's the difference.


Edited by GeneD - 20 Jul 2007 at 8:14am
http://www.nycmidnight.com/forums/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=802
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