I've been asking some questions on Writers SE recently and one thought that came to my mind was genres - There appears to be tons of genres, and there will probably be lots of questions that use genres as tags. I envision that if a clear plan is not put into place, the whole tagging system would be disorganised and a mess. (You would get fantasy-books, fantasy, genre-fantasy, fantasynovels, novels-fantasy, ...)

Should there be a direct hierarchy system for genres?

My suggestions:

  • Genre-[Genre Name] For example: Genre-Fantasy, or Genre-Horror.
  • [Genre Name] (Genre) Example: Fantasy (Genre)

Going on with this idea, would it be necessary to setup a similar system for different types of literature? For example, prose, short stories, poetry, fan-fiction(?), ... (Writing does take place when you write in different formats.)

What do you guys think?

  • Based on such a suggestion, SO would have "language-C++" and "language-Java" versus "ide-VS" and "ide-Eclipse". It seems contrary to the fact that they are currently taking out the unneeded "API" from many tags over there.
    – justkt
    Nov 22, 2010 at 20:38

2 Answers 2


Another option is to simply put the genre as a tag, such as:

  • fantasy
  • science-fiction
  • western

While I'm not sure this is necessarily a better option, it's shorter and I would think therefore less likely to get disorganised. Is it also clear what the intended meaning is? I already know these are genres, but does someone new to publishing?

The type of work you're talking about (short-story, novel, novella, etc.) would be another separate tag.

If someone uses a "non-standard" tag that obviously matches one of the "standards", the community can re-tag to avoid disorganisation.

  • This is the way to go.
    – justkt
    Nov 22, 2010 at 20:37
  • It seems logical to do it this way, I'm not sure there is any gain from prepending them with 'genre'
    – Fox Cutter
    Nov 23, 2010 at 0:23
  • I agree that adding "genre" in front of the actual name of the genre is unnecessary. Jul 22, 2011 at 17:28

I don't think having the term "genre" is necessary. If you are confused seeing "fantasy" and don't know that it's a genre, I think there is a different problem. However, if ambiguity arises for a genre where that tag may mean something else, we should tackle this issue at that time by raising a specific question here in meta.

Be aware that there is already a tag synonym system in the StackExchange platform that can be used from time to time to merge similar tags as is deemed appropriate. I don't think this is a problem that needs solving.

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