Andrea Cerasoni

Fantasy Sunday: Blog Milestones and Types of Fantasy🧙

Published 4 months ago • 4 min read

Issue #3
March 3rd, 2024

Hi friends,

Today marks a major milestone in my author journey.

My blog has finally ranked on Google!

Yes, you heard it right: you can find my articles via Google searches!

Not only that, but I'm ranking for 7 keywords, 4 of which are in the US. Thrilled to see a Harry Potter keyword in there too!

Despite the ranking positions being relatively low (33rd result being the highest amongst all keywords), I'm still really happy and am looking forward to seeing some organic traffic coming into the site.

Without resting on our laurels, let's move on to my most recent blog article.

Have you ever wondered why some books in the Fantasy genre read very similar [insert Tolkien clone here], but also completely different from others, despite all of them being Fantasy?

The answer: subgenres.

In my latest article, High Fantasy vs Low Fantasy, the Differences, I dive into what subgenres are and break down two of the most common in Fantasy.

Besides the blog, this week I've spent significant time on improving my process for creating blogs and newsletters. Notion is proving a valuable friend. Once I sharpen up my Notion templates, if there is interest in them, I might share them with you all.

📖 Novels

A Wizard's Hunt 🏹

Progress: 16%

This week, I've written a few hundred more words on the second chapter of A Wizard's Hunt, which will be available soon on my website.

The novella is sitting at 16%, and I'm really happy with the opening so far.

🗞️ Blog

High Fantasy vs Low Fantasy, the Differences

Learn the differences and similarities between High Fantasy vs Low Fantasy, and how to write stories that fit into your chosen subgenre.

✒️ Writer's Circle

Our community of writers where you can find critique partners and early readers, and join us during live events like Nanowrimo.

Our discord community, Writer's Circle, is currently being built out. Look out for updates on future Newsletter issues!

🎓 What I've Learned This Week

Books don't fall perfectly into any subgenre, and subgenres overlap in many ways.

A book is generally at the intersection of two or more subgenres, and may even include elements of subgenres that have nothing to do with the book's primary genre. These kinds of books can be difficult to read, but also fascinating!

Subgenres serve a very practical purpose.

They help authors market books to agents, and agents to publishers.

Imagine you are a publisher or an agent. Which query would you respond better to?

A Wizard's Hunt is a Fantasy book that talks about a Wizard and his quest to retrieve an ancient weapon.
A Wizard's Hunt is a High Fantasy adventure with elements of Mystery and a tad of Romance.

If you had a critical eye for marketability, you'd probably choose the second.

Right off the bat, the superpower of subgenres is clear: they convey lots of information, which would otherwise be lengthy to explain.

High Fantasy conveys magic, wizards, and a fantastical setting.

Mystery conveys secrets and suspense.

Romance conveys a love story of some kind.

Plus, publishers, who think of the publishing industry in terms of subgenres, know what's popular in the market at any given time. So, if your novel is a mystery, and mystery novels are all the rage right now, you want publishers to know.

That said, you shouldn't advertise your novel as primarily a Mystery if it only includes elements of it (although there have been instances where writers have done this, and it turned out positively). Rather, opt for one of the following descriptors:

  • It has elements of Mystery
  • It's mystery-inspired
  • It's filled with mysteries

They help readers find the books they love

When a reader walks into a bookstore, they often look for a specific kind of book.

For this reason, bookstores split their stores into sections by genre and subgenre.

Thus, they help bookstores place your book on the right shelves.

💡 Life Hacks

Process Over Outcome

External metrics such as views, likes, money, and validation from our peers, are useful in guiding our journey, but we should always focus on the process first.

You might know this as journey over destination.

In terms of my creating blog articles and newsletter, since the very start, I've tried to think of it like this:

How can I define a consistent and reliable process that allows me to write and post an article every week, relies on discipline over motivation, and despite being data-driven, still leaves me creative space to explore the topics I love the most?

And not this:

How can I maximize my views? How can I rank my articles higher on Google? How can I monetize my content aggressively? How can I write as many articles as I can, optimizing only for ranking on Google?

The latter is a trap many people fall into. They optimize the fun out of the pursuit in exchange for external metrics, which is not why they got into the thing in the first place.

Metrics are of course important, and to some extent, we must all work within the constraints and rules of the system we choose to work within. (The Google algorithm and its best practices are the constraints I must follow). But there is a way to healthily incorporate them into our values.

We could add affiliate links to random products we've never even used in every article.

We could display 10+ ads on each page.

Or, as creators, we could focus on aggressively selecting sponsors and affiliate products that we really believe in, and build a community of organic users who like our content. If I can achieve this to any extent, I shall be a happy author.

You are of course free to do as you will. But I believe we shouldn't compromise on our values in order to achieve external metrics, whichever domain of life we look at. Maybe, just maybe, if we do achieve our goals through these means, they'll feel empty to us.

We should instead focus on creating a healthy, sustainable, and productive process.

Andrea Cerasoni

Fantasy Author

I'm Andrea, a Software Engineer and aspiring Fantasy Author. In my newsletter, Fantasy Sunday, you can expect free resources on writing Fantasy fiction based on my experience and the most reputable online sources. I also share updates on my novels and valuable life hacks!

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