Friday, August 26, 2011

Storyteller's Journey

When I began to write a cover letter to the agent who will be critiquing my work in a few weeks, I decided it was high time I pinned down the exact genre of my story, The Tale of Willaby Creek. I have been referring to it as an "Animal Fantasy" - a common reference to a children's book wherein the animals talk and have some human characteristics, they are anthropomorphic.
However, when I began to research the broad genre of "fantasy" I discovered there are a multitude of sub genres that I was unaware existed. In simplest terms there are two large classes of fantasy stories:
High fantasy - The story is set in a fictional, sometimes parallel world. It is epic and grand, with a large cast of characters. J.R.R.Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings is a great example of this type.
Popular/Low Fantasy - The story is usually set in the real world with some magical elements. The focus, however, is usually on the characters or plot, rather than any fantasy elements. Stephenie Meyer's, Twilight series comes to mind as fitting in this classification.
So, when my husband tells me, "You live in a fantasy world!" I can reply: "Would that be high fantasy or popular fantasy?" I know, I drive him crazy. By the way, I have decided to stick with calling my story "Animal Fantasy."
For a more detailed list of fantasy sub genres - Check out this link:

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