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What would be your complete list of genres?

Printed From: NYC Midnight : Creative Writing & Screenwriting
Category: GENERAL DISCUSSION
Forum Name: Creative Writing Corner
Forum Description: Discuss NYC Midnight Creative Writing Competitions or Creative Writing in general.
URL: https://forums.nycmidnight.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=31748
Printed Date: 31 Mar 2020 at 3:01pm
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Topic: What would be your complete list of genres?
Posted By: OnyxLily
Subject: What would be your complete list of genres?
Date Posted: 27 Jan 2020 at 8:12pm
Everyone loves to hate one or more of the genres they give us at NYCM, although we also know it's part of the fun. However, the genre list feels a little... quirky... to me, and I feel like there are some weird double ups and omissions.

If you were going to update the genres list (not just the ones you like) - what would your list look like? Mine would be

- Action
- Comedy
- Drama
- Historical Fiction (maybe? Because I guess you can write hist fic for a lot of other genres)
- Fantasy
- Mystery/Crime
- Horror
- Paranormal
- Romance (puke)
- Satire (distinct from comedy, but removing the "political" which confuses people)
- Science Fiction (sorry Random)
- Western (although I'd be screwed if I ever pulled this one)

There's still some crossover, but less I think, and it would remove those weirdly specific ones like Fairy Tale, Crime Caper and Spy, which you could write under other genres if you so wished.

You could possibly take out Sci Fi and Fantasy (and maybe horror?) and add in Speculative, or keep those three separate and add in Speculative as an additional category...

Interested to know if other people have similar thoughts.



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Replies:
Posted By: MrLipto
Date Posted: 27 Jan 2020 at 8:16pm
Yes! Mystery should just be “Crime”

And Spy should her get absorbed into thriller/suspense which should fall under Action.

And Crime Caper should get the boot.



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Posted By: robcunn
Date Posted: 27 Jan 2020 at 8:18pm
Yeah, I definitely would keep the speculative genres separate (the idea of it being even less likely for me to land one saddens me) but might add another genre called Weird to capture that movement and encourage imagination outside of the genre tropes of the other speculative genres as well.

I like your list, though. Thank you for removing RomCom, lmao. 


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Posted By: OnyxLily
Date Posted: 27 Jan 2020 at 8:21pm
Originally posted by robcunn robcunn wrote:

Yeah, I definitely would keep the speculative genres separate (the idea of it being even less likely for me to land one saddens me) but might add another genre called Weird to capture that movement and encourage imagination outside of the genre tropes of the other speculative genres as well.

I like your list, though. Thank you for removing RomCom, lmao. 


I figure anyone who really wants to write a rom com can do it under either romance or comedy, and that would not be me!

I like the idea of "weird" but it might be tricky to define!


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Posted By: StopStalkingMe
Date Posted: 27 Jan 2020 at 8:24pm
Yes, bye-bye to crime caper!


Posted By: crez
Date Posted: 27 Jan 2020 at 8:29pm
I like the idea of making more general categories and having fewer of them. If they were going to stick with having lots of quirky specific categories but wanted to freshen them up though, I would suggest adding ‘dystopian’.


Posted By: dashesndots2
Date Posted: 27 Jan 2020 at 8:35pm
Drama
Historical Fiction
Romance
Comedy
Suspense / Crime / Mystery 
Action / Thriller / Spy
Horror / Paranormal
Science Fiction
Fantasy
Satire

^That's what I'd do.  You could even combine Sci Fi and Fantasy into Speculative if you had to, but I would personally keep them separate.

Definitely get rid of or absorb Crime Caper, Spy, Fairy Tale and Action Adventure into other broader genres. I agree with dropping the "Political" from Satire and it would be less confusing.


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Posted By: fioOxf
Date Posted: 27 Jan 2020 at 8:40pm
I wouldn't cut 'adventure', just because Action sounds like explosions and combat of some sort or another. Adventure and caper (not specifically crime caper, though) could still be in there. But oh no not Western! agh! See that could be adventure.... 
Yeah, I like 'weird' or 'quirky' as a genre. Or Mash-up, where you mash up any you want, but you mash.


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Posted By: OnyxLily
Date Posted: 27 Jan 2020 at 8:55pm
Originally posted by crez crez wrote:

I like the idea of making more general categories and having fewer of them. If they were going to stick with having lots of quirky specific categories but wanted to freshen them up though, I would suggest adding ‘dystopian’.


Haha, I've managed to turn many of my genre prompts into dystopian. I didn't go there with rom com this round, but I was tempted.


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Posted By: DukeREK
Date Posted: 27 Jan 2020 at 9:16pm
I like simple. 

And not too limiting. 

I also enjoy ignoring debates on the definitions, complexities and limitations of 'genre' anyway (and the tendency of labels to create labels - genres falling into genres and so on ad infinitum). 

And genre as a tool for marketing. I love not talking about that.

We've been telling stories for millennia. I think set the broad experience of story and let the writer find the 'genre' through the elements of Action, Plot, Character and Setting.

So - tell me a story that

- gets the adrenaline going, or:
- scares the crap out of me
- makes me feel fulfilled and happy
- makes me cry in my pretzels
- makes me piss myself laughing
- gets my brain working
- inspires me to do stuff

... or some combination - stories are complex.

Elements of 'genre' are then set by action and plot - what is happening and how it is unfolding. Characters and setting then add the elements of where it is happening and to whom.


Or something.


edit: The story still needs to be appropriate for it's audience, of course. Also something we've been doing for millennia. 




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Posted By: DocI
Date Posted: 27 Jan 2020 at 9:31pm
If I were emperor of the universe, I would separate out the setting and action genres, then assign one of each randomly. IE:

Setting Genres
Fantasy
Historical
Contemporary
Science fiction

Action Genres
Drama
Comedy
Romance
Thriller
Mystery
etc.

So, for a flash prompt, you might get Historical Mystery/a theater/a lightbulb, or for short story you might have Science Fiction Drama/getting married/a plumber and so on.


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Posted By: taaaylor
Date Posted: 27 Jan 2020 at 9:33pm
Originally posted by DukeREK DukeREK wrote:

I like simple. 

And not too limiting. 

I also enjoy ignoring debates on the definitions, complexities and limitations of 'genre' anyway (and the tendency of labels to create labels - genres falling into genres and so on ad infinitum). 

And genre as a tool for marketing. I love not talking about that.

We've been telling stories for millennia. I think set the broad experience of story and let the writer find the 'genre' through the elements of Action, Plot, Character and Setting.

So - tell me a story that

- gets the adrenaline going, or:
- scares the crap out of me
- makes me feel fulfilled and happy
- makes me cry in my pretzels
- makes me piss myself laughing
- gets my brain working
- inspires me to do stuff

... or some combination - stories are complex.

Elements of 'genre' are then set by action and plot - what is happening and how it is unfolding. Characters and setting then add the elements of where it is happening and to whom.


Or something.


edit: The story still needs to be appropriate for it's audience, of course. Also something we've been doing for millennia. 



Meh. Suggesting that we should get rid of genres all together is like saying there is no point distinguishing between fiction and nonfiction either, right? Because creative nonfiction can absolutely have the plot, character, and structure that you're talking about.

The genres matter for more than marketing. They are a means to find the stories that speak to us. it's true that we existed for millennia without genres, but that's because we existed for millennia without easy access to widely available methods for printing books.

Also, there is enough subjectivity in a contest like this without throwing one of the few objective rubrics we have. I value genres, because in my experience writing for online audiences, different genre readers have wildly different expectations from one another. That is a reality that impacts you even if you never market your material at all, assuming you ever want more than an audience of one.

However, I think that the story should come first and the genre label should come second. (Outside the contest context, of course.) Tbh I LOVE the fact that we have so many new sub-genres appearing, because it means that we are not forcing stories into a box that they don't quite fit into.


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MFC Final: The Roses Smelled of Copper


Posted By: jennifer.quail
Date Posted: 27 Jan 2020 at 10:04pm
Action/Adventure (Spy would fall under here)
Thriller/Suspense (because those two are not THAT different)
Western (guess The Arcanist just put out a call for? If you said Western flash fic with a speculative element, you'd be right.)
Mystery
Fantasy
Horror
Ghost Story
Historical Fiction
Contemporary Fiction (replaces Drama)
Romance
Science Fiction


Goodbye, political satire, which is too subject to personal taste, goodbye Fairy Tale, freeing up people to do that for fantasy if they liked.


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Posted By: OKCryptid
Date Posted: 27 Jan 2020 at 11:07pm
Originally posted by jennifer.quail jennifer.quail wrote:

Western
 

YES! 

Originally posted by jennifer.quail jennifer.quail wrote:

goodbye Fairy Tale, freeing up people to do that for fantasy if they liked.

Hard agree. Got fairy tale last year and was a tad annoyed at the lack of distinction between it and fantasy where judges were concerned. Better to just lump them together. 


Posted By: orion323
Date Posted: 29 Jan 2020 at 12:00am
I appreciated the microfiction contest's blended take on genres.  If I were queen of the genre realm, I would separate as such:
Action adventure/crime caper  (don't really see the difference)
Mystery/suspense  (again...fairly malleable)
Fairy tale/fantasy (yes!)
Comedy/Rom-Com  (boo to the meet cutes)
Drama/Historical fiction (they seem to mostly blend anyways)
Horror (stand alone)
Sci-Fi  (most people seem to be genre bending that way no matter the prompt)
Pol Sat (I'm on the fence about this one.  Seems everybody plays it safe and writes different renditions of the same theme.  Keep hoping I'll get it truthfully but I'd probably get banned from this site because I'm a political atheist and think everything is fair game)


And...I may stand alone in this, but I can't comprehend why there isn't a straight up Tragedy genre (which could contain ghosts if the urge struck).  I would read every single one of those mofo's.   Bring on the pain!!

** I would totes sh*te can the spy genre.  Selfishly I think it's super boring to write and read**


Posted By: A.J. Gemick
Date Posted: 29 Jan 2020 at 2:06am
Originally posted by jennifer.quail jennifer.quail wrote:

Action/Adventure (Spy would fall under here)
Thriller/Suspense (because those two are not THAT different)
Western (guess The Arcanist just put out a call for? If you said Western flash fic with a speculative element, you'd be right.)
Mystery
Fantasy
Horror
Ghost Story
Historical Fiction
Contemporary Fiction (replaces Drama)
Romance
Science Fiction


Goodbye, political satire, which is too subject to personal taste, goodbye Fairy Tale, freeing up people to do that for fantasy if they liked.

This is pretty close to how I'd reorganize the genres too- except I would have Fairy Tale lumped into fantasy (hey, if you want to write about fairy tales you can, but you're totally not obligated too), Rom Com would also be folded into Romance.  I might even fold crime caper into Mystery as well.  I'm on the fence as to whether or not keep comedy... some people really do like it.

Political Satire would be tossed into a burning dumpster fire, where it belongs.  :P 


Posted By: chrissie0707
Date Posted: 29 Jan 2020 at 10:05am
Spy should definitely be absorbed into A/A or Thriller. I would *almost* put Ghost Story and Horror together, too.

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Posted By: NorthernPixels
Date Posted: 29 Jan 2020 at 10:53am


Originally posted by taaaylor taaaylor wrote:

Originally posted by DukeREK DukeREK wrote:

I like simple. 

And not too limiting. 

I also enjoy ignoring debates on the definitions, complexities and limitations of 'genre' anyway (and the tendency of labels to create labels - genres falling into genres and so on ad infinitum). 

And genre as a tool for marketing. I love not talking about that.

We've been telling stories for millennia. I think set the broad experience of story and let the writer find the 'genre' through the elements of Action, Plot, Character and Setting.

So - tell me a story that

- gets the adrenaline going, or:
- scares the crap out of me
- makes me feel fulfilled and happy
- makes me cry in my pretzels
- makes me piss myself laughing
- gets my brain working
- inspires me to do stuff

... or some combination - stories are complex.

Elements of 'genre' are then set by action and plot - what is happening and how it is unfolding. Characters and setting then add the elements of where it is happening and to whom.


Or something.


edit: The story still needs to be appropriate for it's audience, of course. Also something we've been doing for millennia. 



Meh. Suggesting that we should get rid of genres all together is like saying there is no point distinguishing between fiction and nonfiction either, right? Because creative nonfiction can absolutely have the plot, character, and structure that you're talking about.

The genres matter for more than marketing. They are a means to find the stories that speak to us. it's true that we existed for millennia without genres, but that's because we existed for millennia without easy access to widely available methods for printing books.

Also, there is enough subjectivity in a contest like this without throwing one of the few objective rubrics we have. I value genres, because in my experience writing for online audiences, different genre readers have wildly different expectations from one another. That is a reality that impacts you even if you never market your material at all, assuming you ever want more than an audience of one.

However, I think that the story should come first and the genre label should come second. (Outside the contest context, of course.) Tbh I LOVE the fact that we have so many new sub-genres appearing, because it means that we are not forcing stories into a box that they don't quite fit into.


To your point, in regards to the contest, the genre requirement is absolutely something I appreciate. Let me tell you, I'd have never tried to write a political satire story on my own (or mystery, or romance, etc.) Having to do so requires research and getting out of your comfort zone which will make you a better writer. 

As far as the great genre debate, I understand it's a necessary marketing tool to get your story to the correct audience and, from a pure sales perspective, I really value that. People like to know broadly what they might be getting into. 

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Posted By: LackofBetter
Date Posted: 30 Jan 2020 at 12:03pm
Exactly. Because SPY isn't really a genre, it's a subject or topic in itself. Trying to write a spy story about a long distance relationship was a challenge. Everyone knows that spies avoid relationships lol. 

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Posted By: jennifer.quail
Date Posted: 01 Feb 2020 at 10:00am
Originally posted by LackofBetter LackofBetter wrote:

Exactly. Because SPY isn't really a genre, it's a subject or topic in itself. Trying to write a spy story about a long distance relationship was a challenge. Everyone knows that spies avoid relationships lol. 

Ehhhhh....I would disagree, as it's VERY hard to call, say, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy or Smiley's People or Our Kind of Traitor action-adventure or thriller. The books, and especially the Gary Oldman film of the first one, are downright sedate. Even some of the Bond novels and short stories aren't really action per se. But it's REALLY easy to cross over--The Cardinal of the Kremlin is a spy story, but being Tom Clancy it's heavily into techno-thriller, too. And they can definitely be political commentary, too (not satire necessarily, but politics obviously is highly relevant to espionage.) 

I also don't think horror and ghost story belong together automatically. I just read a ghost story on here that's really not at all scary but is downright excellent, while horror kind of has to be at least gross-out or disturbing or it isn't really horror. 


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Posted By: DocI
Date Posted: 02 Feb 2020 at 5:43pm
Originally posted by LackofBetter LackofBetter wrote:

Exactly. Because SPY isn't really a genre, it's a subject or topic in itself. Trying to write a spy story about a long distance relationship was a challenge. Everyone knows that spies avoid relationships lol. 

Ooh, it's funny how two different people can see the same prompt. I'm not sure what the other required element was, but I was immediately inspired to go dark and write about the increasingly toxic relationship between someone being persuaded to steal documents and their emotionally manipulative handler in another country. I'd have loved to get that prompt.


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