I noticed a new tag today: . Essentially, according to the description, it is for questions about books that mix and .

My question is why do we need a tag for every genre specifically considering we aren't doing worldbuilding so genres shouldn't impact things too much (unless it is something super specific to fantasy or science fiction for example). I understand the purpose of high level genres like , , and , but when we start adding very specific ones like , I get a bit confused. Are we going to add tags for things like and ? If we are, I think that's fine, I just think we should discuss the tag situation a bit more before adding a bunch of under utilized tags.

  • I added the tag because before it was just dark used together with fantasy. The tag existed before and was used like this before, only that previously it was less specific because someone didn't put a hyphen between the two words when writing his question and then it got used like that.
    – Secespitus
    Commented May 25, 2018 at 7:52
  • @Secespitus I assumed that's why. Thanks for mentioning it, I am simply concerned about continuation of this and not saying that this was wrong. Commented May 27, 2018 at 18:59

2 Answers 2


I don't think we need tags that are that specific. While some of us write in a specific genre (I write speculative fiction, for instance - that's fantasy, sci-fi, and anything in between), most questions are not that specific. If I ask about a trope, if I ask about style, if I ask about planning the story - most of those questions would be general enough to go under broader tags than the specific genre, since those problems are fairly universal across fiction genres.

I can imagine questions that are specific to a particular genre, like or . But I cannot imagine a question that's so specific to a particular sub-sub-genre that it would be irrelevant to the broader genre.

Tags exist to facilitate finding relevant questions (and answers). They also exist so people who are knowledgeable about a particular topic might be aware of new questions that they can answer. A tag that's too specific subverts both those goals.


I share your concern; tagging questions into categories that are accurate but also not helpful is not the neatness we're looking for. As Galastel says, tags that are too specific aren't helpful.

As many other things in Stack Exchange, I hesitate to have a firm ruling -- it's hard to predict how the site may be used and what questions may arise; it's conceivable that we build up a serious body of questions that's specific to a subgenre, and then I'd support the tag.

But what I wouldn't do is try to "make it happen," to forcefully create subgenre tags. For example, the new tag, at the moment, only has three questions. Two are "what are some common tropes for dark (fantasy/romance)" questions (one closed, and not even about dark fantasy). One is a question about authentically writing depictions of brutal social norms in historical/fantastical settings, specifically trying to avoid writing a "dark" story; this re-tagging seems outright incorrect to me, and I'll be amending it.

I bring this instance not as a personal criticism, but as an example of judging the appropriateness of a tag. Hypothetical questions that could merit a tag, or another specific subgenre tag, might be things like:

  • Dark Fantasy:
    • How far can I go in a YA Dark Fantasy
    • Will a happy ending to a dark fantasy disappoint readers
  • Urban fantasy: Questions on customizing popular urban fantasy tropes (vampires; werewolves; witches; etc.) for your particular book/story
  • Alternate history:
    • Questions about getting across what the story's historical deviation has been
    • Questions about making clear what elements are historical and which are not
    • Questions about making a story accessible even to readers unfamiliar with the actual history the story deals with

So I could definitely see subgenre tags hypothetically being useful, but I think a lot of the trick is simply not to rush forward and create ever hypothetically-useful tag.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .