For the Artists Who Like to Remain Strictly Out of the Box
Deciding which of the fantasy genres to write or read requires some research. Some of the different fantasy genres, include Epic, Teen, Supernatural, Historical, Niche, and Women’s. The first step to writing your fantasy novel is to choose among the fantasy genres. Once you’ve chosen among the fantasy genres, you can still choose to change genre later. Maybe after researching your initial genre, you find that there is a different genre that fits your story better.
There are many reasons for switching genres or subgenres, but one very good reason is to use the change to enhance your novel. Perhaps your historical fantasy restricts you to a particular time period that you don’t feel comfortable writing about or that in hindsight doesn’t fit your story as well as you initially thought. Whatever the reason, don’t feel bound to stick to a genre or subgenre that isn’t working; make changes as needed. Epic, Teen, Supernatural, Historical, Niche, and Women’s are just some of the fantasy genres. They are each detailed below:
Epic Fantasy — Genres Epic Fantasy novels are often written in a series of books. The plot is made up of one long running saga or “epic” tale where the main plot is explicitly stated or revealed to the reader at the beginning of the story and carries through to the end of the series in an unbroken plot.
Teen Fantasy — Genres Teen Fantasy novels are geared toward teenaged readers. The main characters in this genre are involved in the main plot of the story are teenagers and usually involves situations teenagers can relate to. This genre of fantasy fiction can be challenging for some to write because fashion, slang and fads change so rapidly among teenagers. This requires the author of teen fantasy fiction to do some market research, be a trend setter, or find a way to remove such things that will ultimately become dated.
Supernatural Fantasy — Genres Supernatural Fantasy novels comprise a large portion of published fantasy fiction novels. Making up almost 30% of the fantasy fiction market, supernatural fantasy includes mythical, spiritual, magical, superhuman and biblical plots and characters. Many fantasy novels fall in this category since any novel that contains elements of magic in it can be considered a supernatural fantasy novel.
Historical Fantasy — Genres Historical Fantasy novels take an historical character or time and alter it so that the characters and or situations could not have existed during the period in which the story takes place. This is different from historical fiction in that historical fiction takes creative license with part of a real life event or person’s life to enhance a story. Historical fantasy uses fantastical elements in the main plot or in the main characters but is set at a definable period in history.
Niche Fantasy — Genres Niche Fantasy novels are a genre limited to a few exceptional authors who have successfully hit on a category of fantasy fiction that had previously been unexplored by any other authors. Often, these authors are so successful in their niche that they are typecast into writing that particular niche, whether they want to keep writing in that genre or not.
Children’s Fantasy — Genres Children’s Fantasy novels are similar to teen fantasy novels in that age group limits the main characters and plots. Children fantasy novels are stories written for and about children. These stories cover subjects that are appropriate for children, written to suit the comprehension level of young children. Often, this genre of fantasy fiction also requires a bit of research to discover issues, phases and interests of young children.
Women’s Fantasy — Genres Women’s Fantasy novels are defined by the “voice” of the narrator or author. This genre of fantasy fiction is not very complete, especially since many feel that calling this subgenre “women’s” fantasy is sexist; how do you classify “women’s” fantasy? Furthermore, the differences used to determine which novels should be included in this genre are debatable and varied.
Fantasy novels are not bound by real world notions. A fantasy novel is only bound by the limits imposed by the author. The story can happen in a completely made up world, made up of creatures that are not human or earthly. As one of the most creative areas of fiction writing, fantasy fiction writing gives the writer complete authority to create a whole new world for the reader to explore. There are several subgenres of Fantasy fiction: Epic, teen, supernatural, historical, niche, children’s and women’s fantasy.
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