Probably one of the biggest, most written for Genres is Fantasy. I used to write some high fantasy only stories myself, as it gives one the opportunity to write immense and in depth worlds. That said, Fantasy has a load of sub-genres and branches, that all are defined under the “Fantasy” umbrella. Here I put down a few things that make out a fantasy story and show you some interesting Fantasy subgenres.
- What I call “High fantasy” is what you know as your type of fantasy, a medieval world filled with magic, magical creatures, perhaps an entirely new world, the boundaries are not set. You have to think about something like “the Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” and you have your typical High Fantasy.
- There are a lot of subgenres to write for, I would like to introduce the “Xianxia” one. As someone who likes Danmei (a term for Chinese stories that feature a romantic story revolving around two men, often “sworn brothers”) which often also intersects with Xianxia, I just had to put this on here. It means your fantasy story with your martial arts, undying masters, a world filled with Gods and magic and the protagonist travels to find their final goal, often well, becoming an undying person themselves. You probably know about Mo Dao Zu Shi/The Grand master of Demonic Cultivation/The Untamed as one of the extremely popular examples putting the Xianxia, cultivation and Danmei stuff all together into one fantastical world. I could dedicate an entire blog post about the world of these, once I am more knowledgeable. But I would recommend checking out some popular Xianxia series and books to get a feel for what I mean.
- Science Fiction. Yeah, it is a fantasy merged with science, basically. Making magic and science intersect, but not limited to these two, it also offers a lot of ground and tropes to work with for your genre.
- All the popular Anime Fantasy matters like Isekai: being transported into a whole new world that is often a High Fantasy one, Magical Girls, approximately girls/sometimes also boys transforming into a whole new magical fighter, all matters common in Anime, Manga and very much Light Novels. Most of the Isekai are adaptations of LN besides, huh.
- Last but not least: the romantic fantasy stuff, I just can’t get me thinking approximately Twilight for that out of my head. The magical creature in our normal world being involved romantically with the heroine, can also be set in a dystopian world or be a time traveler, things often merge. But it can also be set in a medieval setting, a different time period overall, be urban fantasy (set in a city-like place, sometimes in our time or in the future, and can be featured in anything you see in the bookstore with those Fantasy covers that feature a romantic relationship at the forefront. You can dig deep into this one too, and overall there are sooo numerous interesting Fantasy subgenres to pick from!
There are rules and limitations to look out for, you can set them either with your world building, or check out one sub-genre you would like to write for and look up common tropes and adapt its rules for the world. Watching a lot of Xianxia and Danmei stuff made me appreciate the world of martial arts, demon purifying, magical possessed weapons or pills and medicine that is being used in its traditional cultivation sense, and possibly incorporate it in a way in my stories later.