Wednesday, May 09, 2007

What am I writing?

I've been reading a good bit of Sword & Sorcery lately, mainly Moorcock and Offutt, and it's got me to thinking about my own writing.

Do I write Sword & Sorcery?

Not exactly. Though I haven't written many short stories in years, a good number of my short stories could be considered S&S, but the current trilogy I'm working on isn't strictly S&S.

To go further, I suppose one needs a definition of Sword & Sorcery, and definitions of the other subgenres of fantasy. For a detailed look at the different types of fantasy literature, go here (yes, I realize wikipedia isn't perfect, but in this instance it's at least a good place to start).

It seems to me there are as many different definitions of S&S as there are S&S writers, and possibly readers. There's no tried and true definition of this particular subgenre of fantasy. However, from my limited understanding, there are a few things most S&S stories have in common.

S&S stories usually have a protagonist, as well as other characters, who are more interested in their own wants and needs than in saving the world, or in helping others. High fantasy, as a common example, seems to be just the opposite.

So, back to the beginning of this post, what do I write?

I have characters who are bent upon their own agendas, but I also have some characters who are out to save the world, or to at least make it a better place. I even have characters who push agendas of saving the world, but they do so in a darker, selfish fashion.

I guess I write a mixture of fantasy, or some sub-subgenre of S&S.

I don't know. I don't really think about genre while writing and editing, but it's something I'm pondering after the fact.

At least I know I'm writing fantasy, and that's good enough for me for now.


cyn said...

thanks for the link, ty. i wondered what sub genre i am writing as well. it isn't exactly high fantasy, but there is good versus evil. nothing about saving the world. and she "saves" the world for selfish reasons in the end, to save her father.

i think it leans toward high fantasy more than anything else?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for some memory refreshing. I began writing high fantasy; have tried to write sword & sorcery; believe what I'm churning out most is heroic fantasy.

Which is cool with me.