Supernatural Fiction Readers discussion

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Archives > Young adult paranormal fiction vs. Young adult fantasy fiction

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message 1: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1811 comments R.M., in the book trade "paranormal" (if I understand correctly), is used as short for "paranormal romance," and denotes fiction set in this world, but involving a romance between two people at least one of whom is some sort of paranormal creature, or has paranormal abilities. Fantasy fiction, on the other hand, is set in an imaginary world in which magic operates. (Both can be geared either to adult or to YA readers, or to both.) Hope that nutshell definition helps!


The Pirate Ghost (Formerly known as the Curmudgeon) (pirateghost) On another board, there was a discussion like this. It was a younger crowed (as far as they seemed to me) and they generally said, that the difference between YA and Regular ole Adult is that the YA tended to have less flowery speech and fewer 10 dollar words. Plus, they seemed to believe that YA was filled with a lot more details (what we might call Minutia) because the young tend to absorb all sorts of details and process them very quickly.

My own observation of people would add that, even though YA have a mind that is sharp enough to process even the most complex issues, they tend to "pass" on the really deep (unless the subject specifically appeals to them) in favor of subjects less weighty and more action-experience oriented. As Ole fogies we tend to like the philosophical and deep spiritual essence in our books even if they are action/adventure or Epic Fantasy etc.

Or to put it bluntly, we tend to like someone (character) developing or growing in some way spiritually (not religiously) and they could care less unless it's a fun ride. Again, it's a matter of where they chose to put their energy, not a matter of having the ability to process more complex stuff.

According to them, YA stuff has more complex plots though, reading between the lines I got the impression that they are also not as deep. If that helps.


message 3: by Nikki (new)

Nikki Palm | 9 comments For me when I think of paranormal I tend to think of vampires, shifters, ghosts, etc. When I think of fantasy I tend to think of fairies, trolls, nymphs,... things like Harry Potter. Fantasy can be fun because it really delves into whole other worlds for it's reader to get lost in. Some might happen right smack dab in the middle of suburbia and other's might be in the midst of a far off land.

I personally love both genres in both YA and Adult categories. I hope this helps you. If not, maybe give us some more background of your story.

PS... It is possible for a book to be both paranormal and fantasy. It really just depends on your subject matter:) of


message 4: by Terri (new)

Terri Bruce (terribruce) Paranormal is a subset/sub-genre of the fantasy genre (paranormal and paranormal romance are two different subsets/genres). Within the fantasy umbrella you can have urban fantasy, paranormal, epic fantasy, magical realism, alternate universe/history, etc. (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fantasy_... for a full list).

Paranormal, as Nicole said, is generally set in a world/universe very much like ours, with some kind of supernatural or paranormal creatures (werewolves, vampires, ghosts, etc.), where straight out "fantasy" is usually in a completely different realm/world. But you very really see a book categorized as just "fantasy" as that is too broad. It's usually labeled by it's sub-genre.

"Contemporary fantasy" is the catch all for fantasy set in the modern world that doesn't seem to fit in any of sub-genres - i.e. Neil Gaiman's "Neverwhere" is contemporary fantasy.

Hope that helps! I know the genre question is incredibly confusing, probably the hardest question an author will be asked to answer about his/her work :-)


message 5: by Nikki (new)

Nikki Palm | 9 comments It can be completely confusing:) The hardest part is when you see a book that easily fit into more than one category.


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