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YA Contemporary Fantasy or YA Speculative?


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#1 Kelz1990

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 12:00 PM

I was querying for about a month, but I stopped because after receiving my query critique on here, I'm reevaluating and reworking my entire manuscript. It could be a long time before I query again, so one of the questions I need to ask is regarding the genre. My book involves not only elemental powers, but is centered around the elements of life. It's set in present day, and is YA. Would it fall under contemporary fantasy or speculative?

#2 Nessa

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 07:45 PM

Speculative is an umbrella term that includes all types of fantasy.
 
Contemporary fantasy takes place in the present day.
 
Urban fantasy is a subgenre of contemporary fantasy, and takes place in a city. However, UF and CF have become rather interchangeable. You could get away with using either.

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#3 Kelz1990

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 07:58 PM

I didn't know urban fantasy and contemporary fantasy were interchangeable. It was my understanding that UF mainly involved paranormal type stories (vampires, werewolves, etc). Could an elemental themed plotline be considered UF?

#4 Nessa

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Posted 16 December 2017 - 08:38 PM

My understanding is that UF and CF are being used interchangeably so often that the distinction has gotten watered down.
 
I don't believe UF has restrictions on creature type. It might seem that way because a lot of published UF has to do with paranormal creatures.
 
I think you could use UF if your story mostly takes place in a city, like in The Mortal Instruments. 
 
One of my manuscripts takes place in a town and deals with urban myths. The creatures are what you'd expect from an UF story, but because cities aren't a major setting, I pitch it as CF. 

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#5 mindy24601

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Posted 17 December 2017 - 07:13 PM

If you're ever not sure, "YA fantasy" is also a genre of its own  :smile:



#6 KitCampbell

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Posted 18 December 2017 - 10:32 AM

Both contemporary and urban fantasy get used interchangeably (though you're right, they're not technically the same) to denote fantasy that takes place in the "real" world versus fantasy that takes place in a secondary world. 






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