The Difficulty of Classification

I started transferring Bonded to Serial Central today and stumbled across a small, tricky difficulty.

I’m not sure how to classify the story.

To be honest, calling my fiction “fantasy” is a little bit of a stretch.  Yes, it is set in a world entirely out of my imagination.  Yes, the social structure and technology are more medieval than modern.  Both of these are fairly good indicators of fantasy.  However, there is no magic, which is traditionally the big red flag that a story fits in the genre.

I am willing to claim both The Queen’s Butterflies and Burden of Knowledge as fantasy, and will defend them as such, magic or no.  There are plenty of the other indicators mentioned before to justify the classification.  Bonded is a little bit different.

This story is set in Molva, the country right next door to Diaea (where Burden takes place).  Both countries figure prominently in Butterflies.  So we have the “world straight from my head” part.  But this is an emotional story, a story about a relationship between a boy and a girl. Not only is there no magic, there’s no swordfighting or spying, either!  Other than the setting, the story could take place in almost any genre.   

Do you think I am still justified in tagging it fantasy, since it goes with the other stories?  Or should I tag it something else – maybe romance?  I might tag it both and see how people respond, but there’s still time for you to make suggestions now!

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jannatwrites
    Oct 23, 2010 @ 00:31:12

    I get so confused about the genre lines. I’m not even entirely sure about what it is that I write 🙂 You’d probably be safe with Romantic Fantasy.


  2. Jack
    Oct 24, 2010 @ 21:20:12

    Do you have to classify it to that degree? I know there’s always more to a story than the basic summary – but I avoid “Romantic Fiction” and I’m sure others do the same for fantasy; is the notion of “fiction” just too broad?


  3. Barb
    Oct 26, 2010 @ 14:49:54

    My amazons don’t have magic either. Go with “fantasy” tag, it’s your world – at least the reader will know it’s not Planet Earth! 😉


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