Fun,  Writing World

Buffy Meets Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

I’ve long considered myself to be a fantasy writer. Magic = Fantasy right? I remember a couple of years ago, when I was really gung ho about doing some fairy tale retellings, my mom was super excited because she thought this meant I was going to turn away from the darkness and write some light, fluffy chapter books. Ha, ha. Bless her.

No. I was seeing which ones were standing out to me as something I could do something crazy with. They all fell apart. Some 17 or so fairy tale retelling ideas. I clearly didn’t know what I was doing.

But around that same time, I went through this mini crisis when trying to figure out what to label one of my stories. I ended up with “dark contemporary fantasy” though I probably should have labeled it as paranormal. Still, gluing a genre to my story doesn’t help me explain what kind of writer I am when people ask me what I write. Way back in the early writing days, I said I wrote about “witches and ghosts.” And up until a few years ago, I used to just say “vampires.” But now, since there are no vampires, I say “fantasy? like paranormal and supernatural horror like stuff?”

Anyone who asks me to elaborate (I wonder why hiss) gets a response to the beat of “What do you mean?” Do they mean genre-wise, style-wise, WHAT? Because people have actually asked me who I write like. I have found a few authors who I feel have similar styles to mine, unfortunately, it’s hard to find people in the wild who know who they are. Which is why I go with “Buffy the Vampire Slayer-type things kind of writing.” Which surprisingly, always, seems to make sense whether they actually know what I’m talking about or not.

At writing conferences I’ve been going back and forth between contemporary fantasy, paranormal, and supernatural horror. But lately I’ve been labeling most of my junk as “Dark Fantasy.” I think that means fantasy with horror elements, which would be quite accurate, actually. But for some reason, so no one gets my writing confused with any of the other kinds of fantasy out there since I just about only write in contemporary — non-giant city — settings, I’ve been querying said junk as “dark YA contemporary fantasy.” That’s a mouthful.

sigh Post vampire life is so complicated.

If I had to describe my general writing style, I could say something like, “Mean Girls meets Edgar Allan Poe?” Or “Clueless meets The Craft?” Or maybe just exactly like “The Craft.” Maybe.

Anyway, there’s this thing that some writers do when they talk about their stories: comparisons.

I have NEVER been able to do this. Like I said, the closest I can get is “ditz meets vampyr.” So, you know I can’t do this with individual stories.

That said, I thought it would be fun to try! So here are my “comparisons” for two stories that I’ve written and two stories that are in various stages of being written. “Raven” a supernatural gothic horror, “Discord” a dark contemporary fantasy, “Whisper” a dark fantasy (haha) and “Phantom Silence” a dark fantasy (see what I mean…)

*Disclaimer: I have no idea what I’m doing. Thus, this is for entertainment purposes only, and I mean no offense to the listed media! Lol! 😛

THE ADDAMS FAMILY meets A Secret Garden (Hmm, not too bad…)
The Fall of the House of Usher meets The Bell Witch (LOL! Inside joke…)
Edgar Allan Poe meets Joss Whedon (Don’t I wish!!)

Rapunzel meets THE LITTLE MERMAID (LOL! Yeah…this is no good.)
INCEPTION meets The Odyssey (Wow…this is terrible…)
JAWS meets The Little Match Girl (Okay, now I’m just being silly.)

A Little Princess meets CHARMED (Hey now! This one might actually work!)
Pandora’s Box meets TOMB RAIDER (dies laughing But still, I love this!)
THE MUMMY meets The Phantom of the Opera (Okay, now, this is my favorite!!)

Sleeping Beauty meets HOCUS POCUS (Ooh, doesn’t that sound cool?!)
BLACK SWAN meets The Tudors (I know this is bad, but I likes it!)
Jane Eyre meets SABRINA THE TEENAGED WITCH (Hmm…maybe?!)

Well, that was hilarious. I feel like I got the closest on “Whisper” and the next closest on “Phantom Silence.” The other two are just kind of sad. Have you ever tried to do this? I think I learned something. It may not show, but I really did put a lot of thought into these! LOL! ^_^


  • The Coffee Crazed Writer

    I’m twelve, and I write. My friends are fine with that as long as I don’t ramble on and on and on (I have a habit of same) and my family love that I have a hobby. My mum says that I have a cruel sense of humour, a warped way of seeing the world and a way with words that most other kids my age haven’t accomplished yet. I probably should classify the way I write as Adventure/Murder but it usually varies depending on my mood. I had bad day, started something I had no intention of ever finishing (that’s seems to happen a lot) and twenty three pages later, there’s already been three murders, an attempted kidnapping, nuclear war’s just been declared and the protagonist is about to be shot in the head. I reiterate the fact that I’m 12.

    • krystal jane

      Ha! That’s awesome! I had some really high body counts in the early days. It freaked people out because I don’t look like “the type.” ^_^ I still freak people out, actually. I have a ton of unfinished stuff. Go for it! It’s great practice. Plus, the world needs crazy stories! Someone has to write them. 😀

  • Michelle A (@SunflowerRei)

    This is hilarious. I usually just answer with, “Historical fiction,” even though I have written and will probably write things that aren’t historical sometime in the future. But then again, I don’t have real people in my stories, so I can’t necessarily say, “Oh, it’s about the Great Fire of London” or whatever. I mean, with Vic and Nic, the Victoria part is “Dollar Princesses and Oscar Wilde-era London” and Nic’s part is contemporary.

    • krystal jane

      ^_^ I might try to write a non-fantasy-esque story one day. In fact, I do have a couple of sci-fi ideas I can’t get off the ground! I wonder how they classify hybrid stories. I have a a couple of historical romances that take place half in the present. Pretty sure they were both in the historical romance section.

  • Tonja Drecker

    Yay to something different! I hate classifications and am really against them in queries. Everyone is different, so isn’t what we write going to be the same way? My MG MS under submission is a horror to classify…a bit of Caroline…a bit of Hansel and Gretel and a bit of Barbie the ballerina. But that’s the nice thing about MG, we don’t have to classify much outside of ‘middle grade fantasy’ 😉 Maybe you should make up your own genre????

    • krystal jane

      Ooh, MG horror! ^_^ Do you know that I have totally sent stories out with tags on them to the beat of “futuristic urban fantasy” and “supernatural fantasy” and other such craziness?! Someone on the writing boards told me once that I was being redundant. Lol! But the blurb usually speaks for itself as to what kind of story it is, I would think.

  • Jodi

    What a fun activity! I’ll have to give this a shot in the near-future when my brain isn’t fried. I think I have to agree that The Mummy meets The Phantom of the Opera is the best!

    It’s almost impossible for me to figure out what genre my book is. I used to think sci-fi because of the time loop, but the fact that magic is involved with that loop apparently makes it fantasy. Yet when I tell people it’s “fantasy” they picture dragons and fairies and far away lands, when really the book is very much grounded in the real world. I read somewhere that the word for this is ‘low fantasy,’ but that just sounds depressing. So I’ve settled with calling my book a ‘paranormal romance,” even though the romance is secondary to the main conflict, so…arghhhh…I don’t know what the damn thing is.

    • krystal jane

      YES! I feel really strongly about that one! ^_^
      I’m so glad I’m not the only one with this problem! But I am sorry you’re having it, too. I totally get that. People either think dragon kind of fantasy, fairy tale fantasy, or 50 Shades of Grey! I’m so serious! The first time that happened, I was like, “Um…what?” So that’s part of why I say “supernatural stuff and whatever” now. Lol!

      I read that urban fantasy was big-city, real world kind of fantasy and was told that what I wrote was technically contemporary fantasy since my stories rarely take place in a big city, but I run into people all the time who ask me what that is. >.<

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