After doing quite a bit of research trying to figure out what the hell kind of book I’m writing, I’ve come to the conclusion that this is a Mythic Fantasy with Romantic Fantasy elements.
What is Mythic Fantasy?
In a sense, all fantasy derives from the vast number of myths developed throughout human history. Nature’s force and fury, death, disease and prosperity, the fearsome dark and the blessed day were all given meaning through the gods and monsters of every culture’s mythology.
Mythic Fantasy (some people may call it Mythic Exploration) are stories that deal in the same universal themes as do myths, but the actual milieu, the names and powers of the gods, and the mythical or supernatural creatures that inhabit the fantasy world vary in some way from their more traditional counterpart. Elements of legend and folklore may be included, although they are just as likely to be completely original as to hearken back to some familiar figure like Arthur or Robin Hood.
One common type of Mythic Fantasy is to bring disparate mythological traditions into conflict, with gods clashing while heroes struggle for dominance not only in their own sphere, but against their opposite numbers. At stake is the fate of the world.
The quintessential Mythic Fantasy example would be Neil Gaimen’s American Gods where ancient gods clash with modern gods, with the destiny of humankind at stake.
But whatever form the action of the story takes, its most important function is to explain why this particular world is the way it is—how it began, what the humans’ function is within it, and what they have to do to maintain it as a desirable place to live. Oftentimes this is the crux of the story—the world has become unfit in some way, and the characters struggle to find a solution with the help and ancient knowledge of their gods and otherworldly helpers.
Explanation found here: Mythic Fantasy
And (as if we don’t already know) here’s the explanation for Romantic Fantasy.
What is Romantic Fantasy?
These stories are more traditionally romantic than those in the Fantastic Romance category. Romantic Fantasy may also put more emphasis on the plot events than a Fantastic Romance. Quite a few other fantasy subgenres will incorporate elements of Romantic Fantasy in them, especially Epic Fantasy and Paranormal Fantasy.
There are several “typical” storylines, but they all share the common element that the heroine has lost her home or place in society in some way, and comes to find completion and acceptance in another group. Thus, various relationships are important parts of the story: social, political and—of course—romantic relationships.
While searching for these new relationships and discovering/developing her powers, the heroine is likely to fall in love with a man who also possesses the gift of magic. The magic in these stories is usually of a gentler, more innate type than in other fantasy. Things like strong intuition and empathy, or mastery of one of the elements, are typical.
As the two lovers (or they may remain just friends or traveling companions for some time) travel the kingdom and perhaps beyond, they will gradually discover that their powers are necessary to right some huge wrong, or restore something important that has been lost. They will need to learn about each other in intense ways so that together they can fulfill this responsibility.
Explanation found here: Romantic Fantasy
Unfortunately, as for word count, I need to come up with a happy medium, as there are no specific word counts for books classified as Mythic Fantasy. As a whole, Fantasy novels range from 100K-115K as an excellent word count. But can be stretched up to 124K and compressed down to 90K. So I might just run with those numbers to decide how long my book will actually be. Having a solid foundation is going to help me a lot in the long run when I’m sending my book out to agents. It’ll help me narrow down the list by a lot. During my procrastination with my book it’ll be a good way to pass the time. It’s such a relief to know what I’m actually writing about.