I write fantasy and science fiction. Sometimes I start to wonder as I’m crafting these stories if I’m including enough of these things that essentially qualify my work as genre. Where do you draw the line as a reader for what has enough fantasy elements to you to keep you interested. Is there a limit as to how much fantasy is to be involved. Many people are sure to say that it is all a blance for each individual story, but that really is a cheap answer considering if you pick up a story and 50 pages in you’ve grown sick of it because the promise of fantasy hasn’t delivered. You’ve done it and I’ve done it, so it is a reality.
This is one of the reasons that we label stories with a genre and why if you research a bood, you can generally dig deeper than the general genre and find out a subgenre. Each genre has it’s own expectations which helps moderates how someone should approach a genre. A person who wants a romance shouldn’t expect a gushing romance in a fantasy. Sure, you may get a romance, but don’t expect the same conventions. However, when I walk in to a fantasy there are certain things that I expect, like a fantastical element. If there is no fantastical element, I’d wonder why it would be classified in Fantasy.
Is this enough?
As I write, I’m constantly wondering if my fantastical elements are too much or too little. I’ve found this more of an issue as I recognized the type of stories I tell. I don’t tell character driven stories, but I don’t tell plot drive stories. I tell stories that are a mixture of both and thus they don’t fall squarely into the expectations of stories of those types. But I do deliver a mix of plot drama and character turmoil mixed with with some weird supernatural stuff.
Currently I’m writing a story with genies. However they aren’t like the Disney version of genies and much more like traditional djins of lore. Well, mostly. However, I have made my own changes to fit the world that I am creating. But just because I have genies doesn’t mean I can wish away my problems. In fact, I don’t have the characters running around making all too many wishes, but I don’t have them struggling with inane things that don’t drive the plot. Am I going to have enough of a fantastical element to keep people interested? I think so, but it isn’t going to be overwhelming. It’s more about the characters and how they are coming to cope with their new realities.
How do you deal with not having enough of genre material in your stories?