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Can someone explain the distinction between Drama and Scifi or Fantasy?

Queshire

Auror
Well, depends on what you mean by drama. Classical drama generally refers to a country's traditional modes of literature and performance. If you're from 'MURICA like me then you're probably most familiar with the traditional of greek plays when talking about classical drama; their comedies and tragedies.

For modern dramas I think I would say that they build their primary tension off of the interaction and relationships between characters instead of more action oriented fare like a Jedi trying to defeat the Empire or Hobbits carrying a ring to Mt. Doom. You can certainly have a sci fi or fantasy drama, but since dramas don't require the same level of action they often work better in settings where action generally isn't an option most of the time such as in a royal court or the ever popular soap opera dramas.
 

pmmg

Istar
You dont usually see those three compared in this way...

Drama is usually places against Comedy or Tragedy, and SciFi against Fantasy.

Anyway, I heard it defined by my friend Nyki on another site as Fantasy is when incredible stuff happens and we call it magic, and SciFi is when incredible stuff happens and we try to explain it. Or something like that. I accept it.

Drama does not have to be fiction. I tend to think of it as something that is telling story with strong emotional or introspective content. But...it is actually defined as just something to be preformed.

Comedy is classically defined as something with a happy ending, and tragedy is one with an unhappy ending.
 

BearBear

Minstrel
What I remember was on a government form (ye 'Merica) for the copywrite office and it specifically separated out Drama from fiction. Maybe they meant non-fictional dramas, but I don't think so. I have that form somewhere I'll see if I can post it later.
 

Devor

Fiery Keeper of the Hat
Moderator
Genres and subgenres and the like are just about trying to explain to readers what kind of story you're telling in clear, well known, non-spoilery ways. It's not even about classification and being one but not the other. If "fantasy action drama" is what best describes a book, then there's plenty of circumstances where they'll use all three. But if they only want one, I mean, it's really that they've got to put it on a shelf somewhere that makes sense to people.

People who look at the fantasy shelf and people who look at the drama shelf are often two very different groups of people looking for very different stories. So if you've got a drama with a bit of magic in it, they'll go by whichever group of reader they think is looking for it.

It's a bigger issue when you throw in the word romance. Romance novels sell a lot better, so it sometimes happens that editors will want you to play up a romance plotline in order to land a spot on the romance or paranormal romance shelf.

Of course it gets more narrow, too. Fantasy Horror, or Military Fantasy, or Space Opera, all matter when you've got readers using search engines and algorithms and key words to find a book. What narrow subgenre your book fits into can be a big deal in finding readers and also in promoting book.
 

Queshire

Auror
What I remember was on a government form (ye 'Merica) for the copywrite office and it specifically separated out Drama from fiction. Maybe they meant non-fictional dramas, but I don't think so. I have that form somewhere I'll see if I can post it later.

I think in a case like that they're probably talking about scripts for plays, tv or movie when talking about drama. That's just a guess however, so don't quote me on it.
 

pmmg

Istar
What I remember was on a government form (ye 'Merica) for the copywrite office and it specifically separated out Drama from fiction. Maybe they meant non-fictional dramas, but I don't think so. I have that form somewhere I'll see if I can post it later.
Well, thats much different context. I think Quesh is right.
 

Avery Moore

Troubadour
I think in a case like that they're probably talking about scripts for plays, tv or movie when talking about drama. That's just a guess however, so don't quote me on it.
Yeah, I think Queshire is right. For instance, the works of Shakespeare would fall under the category of "drama" since they were originally written as stage plays, not novels.
 

BearBear

Minstrel
Yeah, I think Queshire is right. For instance, the works of Shakespeare would fall under the category of "drama" since they were originally written as stage plays, not novels.

I think you crystallized it for me here (with the help of other posts herein obviously). At least I think that satisfied my question
 
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