Be a patron of the arts and support my writing for as little as $1 a month at my Patreon page.



Archives

Categories

Deciding on a genera for my series

This morning I have been working on deciding what genre my series could best be defined by. For this I have taken a list of ten basic genre types, ones that stories can be broken down and classified as belonging to, and done a bit of thinking through what one best defined the widest scope of the stories I want to write about in my series. What one of those ten genres had, within it, elements that I could see appearing in not just one or two of my books in the series, but in every book written in this series.

I know that the series will be about two princes whose birthright was stolen by their uncle, so, keeping that in mind, as well as my desire to place it in a setting that is a “what if…” of an alternate history where both steam power and magic were a part of the world, I went through my list of genres and determined which actually fit my series’ core type.

The following list is from my Series Bible workbook in Scrivener, where I listed each of the ten genre types and then wrote whatever came to mind on why that particular story type might, or might not, fit with the overall series type I wanted to write:

Action & Adventure would require that the heroes face different dangerous and exciting events in each story, things they undertake because they are trying to save someone, and/or seeking to find treasure, and instead are encountering something around every turn that sets a fast pace to the story. While I want my heroes to be kept moving, and one of them could definitely fall into the role of an adventurer, the series is not like Indiana Jones or Uncharted; both of which are examples of this genre.

Crime would focus the story on the events of some kind of crime and how that crime affects the characters in the story. With the king being murdered and the throne stolen, it might seem that those would be the focus; but I am not looking to focus on the mystery of the king’s death, nor to make reclaiming the throne the only end goal of the series. There is most certainly an element of crime to the series, but this genre is not at its core.

Fantasy is a strong element in the series, since I have made the decision that I want to include some element of magic, and to pull it into a historical alternate reality from the 1400’s. The series, however, is not going to be focused on the fantasy elements, they are simply a part of the world in a way that makes them no more fantastical to the characters than the color of the sky or the wetness of water. There is a subplot about the Church of the One God seeking to control magic and make it a crime for anyone not of their priesthood to use, but this is a subplot, not the actual focus of the series.

Horror is definitely not the core of the series. There will be moments in the stories where there will be really scary things going on, but the series is never going to be something that any horror fan would count as being a horror series.

Mystery is like crime, there is a possibility to make mystery a part of the series, but it is not going to be a major part of it. At best it will be the core of one or two stories within the series, but as a whole the series is not going to be one that could be classified as a mystery series in any way.

Paranormal might someday play a small role in the series, if I decide that it needs a Hamlet style scene of the dead king speaking to someone or something like that, but… no. Just… no. While it is possible that ghosts might be something that the characters talk about in the same way that the paranormal is talked about in our world, I am never going to make a ghost such a significant part of the series that it would pull the series, as a whole, into the realm of being a paranormal series. It is just not at all a proper fit for what I want to tell.

Romance / Relationships are going to be a part of the series, in particular the relationships shared by friends and relatives, but the series as a whole is not going to be focused on the relationship or romance of any of the characters. At best, this would be subplots running through the series and having impacts on the events of the series. Such impacts, however, would never be the focus of the series as a whole.

Science Fiction would only apply in terms of things like medieval sciences of astronomy, steam power, and other things that would help keep the magic believable and draw the world setting from what became our industrial revolution and toward a future that would be reliant on steam power. No one that reads science fiction would ever classify the series as being Sci Fi.

Suspense / Thriller is another genre type that would be found within a subplot or two, but not something that would define the series as a whole.

War Stories, ah, here at the end of the list, I think I have found what I have been looking for. War stories ask us to look at a world in conflict. The Lord of the Rings, one of the most beloved of fantasy stories and one that has had strong influence on the fantasy genre, is, at its core, a war story. It is the story of the war that is tearing apart the world and the small band of heroes who hold the One Ring and seek to end the war by destroying that ring. Everywhere the group goes they are caught between sides in this overarching story of war. While my series is not going to show an active war, the motivations of the characters will be strongly guided by the threat of war and how precariously close to the horrors of all out war their world is. The main motivation to the heroes not reclaiming the throne is going to be the knowledge what doing so could plummet their kingdom into war.

So, now that I know that my story is, at its core, a story about the specter of war, I can narrow that down even more and define the basic building blocks that will be seen from story to story as I write the books in the series.

And that is where I am in my planning so far. I will make another post when I have more progress to report on the development of the world I am creating and the kinds of stories that will be included in it.

Please, feel free to ask any questions that you might have about my progress and to discuss with me the points I have made here about my series. And if you would like to see the story as it is being written, then visit my Patreon page and become a patron of the arts for as little as $1 a month.

 

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>