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I am currently writing a novel where I mix the genre fantasy, sci-fi, and slice of life. My plan is to make the main character to save the sci-fi city using fantasy. And beyond that, I also use slice of life genre to mainly get some drama between the characters, but I also use it to show how the world looks like, and also to make the characters really precious.

But the problem is, that I don't know what should I write to do all of those. I don't know how to write an interesting slice of life that is interesting enough for the reader to keep reading it, and I also don't know how to introduce the fantasy and sci-fi aspect through it. All that I have now is the idea of 'what is in that world,' and 'what happened in that world,' but I don't know how to progress them through the slice of life genre while also not forgetting to tell the main plot.

I tried looking for a novel or anime with the similar idea for inspiration, but I just couldn't find one (if there are any novel or anime recommendations, I'd really appreciate it).

So what should I do? What should I write and don't? Is there any rules or something that I should know? Or, is it even a bad idea to mix those three genres in the first place? I'll appreciate every answer.

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  • I won't advertise so I won't mention particular works here. But there are several web novels that are exactly that. Fantasy and slice of life. Find one in popular web novel sites and read it. – Mindwin Oct 29 '20 at 19:54
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    Correct me, and you seem to be saying you have no clue. “I don't know what I should write to do all of those… how to write a… slice of life… interesting enough for the reader…” nor “how to introduce the fantasy and sci-fi aspect…” Is that a reasonable summary of your Post? Either way, how does "slice-of-life" come into this? – Robbie Goodwin Oct 30 '20 at 1:10
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    "I also use slice of life genre to mainly get some drama between the characters, but I also use it to show how the world looks like" - you can have drama between characters and show what the world looks like in any genre, including sci-fi/fantasy. "to make the characters really precious" - what does this mean? – DM_with_secrets Oct 30 '20 at 8:11
  • Great Fantasy/Slice of Life example: The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss. Not Sci-Fi, but then you want to have your own original twist for your work so it might be better to not seek out a Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Slice of Life book or you will and up emulating that. – Kvothe Oct 30 '20 at 16:18
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Just write.

Write, and edit later. You’re never going to get anywhere if you say, “I don’t know what to do.” Just DO. It doesn’t matter if it’s perfect at first. I know that I’ve edited my work (a few parts that I thought were good were actually crap, so keep that in mind too. No one’s perfect.) so much that only a few lines of the original are still in the final. Crazy, right?

So your first draft is probably going to suck, but you just have to get it over with, like ripping off a band aid. It’s okay to mess up the first few times. After you finish your first draft, you can edit and perfect and polish it as much as you please.

One more thing, don’t write to fit the genre. After your work is done, the genre will fit YOU. Write your work for what it is, not what you want it to be.

I hope this helps you!

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    Genre is only important for publishers so they can put the balls in the right box and market them. What the readers want is an engaging and interesting story. – Mindwin Oct 29 '20 at 19:51
  • What works for me is to draft the web novel ahead some 30 ~40k words, then come back and mercilessly edit/rewrite with the knowledge of what lies ahead. Sometimes I add a chapter between two sections of another, or just throw away a thousand or so words. – Mindwin Oct 29 '20 at 19:53
  • @Mindwin, true to some extent. However, your work is always read in a context of other similar works. Knowing the genre tropes can often help you play with them and produce a much more interesting work. Most of my favorite authors such as Patrick Rothfuss, Brandon Sandorson and (in television) Josh Whedon often used this trick. – Kvothe Oct 30 '20 at 16:16
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I really like this idea --slice of life in a magical world. However, slice of life is usually all internal stakes --nothing big and external. If your MC is saving a city, that's not slice of life. The usual key is making sure the characters are pursuing goals that are important and consequential to them, even if it's not things that anyone outside of their circle would care about: Getting the better of a neighbor, or gathering up enough courage to ask someone on a date, for example.

In this case, I would suggest mixing in some low-stakes subplots with your high-stakes world. A good example of this is the movie Fargo. The main character is pursuing a murderer, but there are lots of smaller moments mixed in. You might also watch some Richard Linklater movies --he's a master of seemingly aimless, slice-of-life movies that somehow manage to never lose your attention.

In the worlds of SF & F, Patricia Wrede's Caught in Crystal is a great story about a retired hero, a hardworking single mom who has to balance keeping her kids safe and happy with saving the world. LeGuin's Left Hand of Darkness is a SF book all about interpersonal relationships, as is Samuel Delany's Triton. The early issues of the 90s Starman comic reboot have a lot of slice-of-life in between the heroics. There are some great, small-stakes episodes late in the book The Neverending Story. The Myth Adventures series becomes increasingly slice-of-life as it goes forward. Glen Cook's Garrett PI series also does a good job of depicting the quotidian side of a magical world. Diana Wynne Jones is another master of this: Cart & Cwider, Witch Week and Archer's Goon all have good examples of people doing their best to live their ordinary daily lives against a backdrop of fantastical events. Many of Haruki Murakami's novels and short stories invert this, with magical incidents intruding into a mundane world.

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    +1 great answer. Lots of good examples here, plus some practical advice. :) – MarielS Oct 29 '20 at 18:10
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Sci fi and fantasy are blended together all the time. If it is a future tech setting with things like interstellar travel, but there is magic involved, it is sci fi fantasy.

Slice of life is literally a story that uses the mundane: the daily life and experiences of the characters, as the center of the story. To write slice of life you need to be very familiar with your characters, since the story centers around their lives. (Ideally you should be very familiar with your characters no matter WHAT genre you write, but some action type stories get away without it anyway...even though they would still be BETTER if they had more 3D characters! But a 2D character cannot be "hidden" beneath genre trappings when the genre is focused on the character themself, so you have to be extra careful here.)

Slice of life stories can be written in any genre. Just take interesting experiences, relatable human struggles, and joyful moments of a normal person in your setting and focus on those, and voila! you have a slice of life subgenre. In a sci fi fantasy, it would be about the life of an individual living in your sci fi fantasy world. Maybe about a struggling merchant who has a small space ship and makes his living running goods from one planet to another, or about a young lady in school for "inter species culinary arts" who dreams of opening up a restaurant someday featuring cuisine from around the galaxy and catering to people of all species! Or maybe a kid who has a talent for magic and is apprenticed to become a starship mage to keep all the magic components of the space ship (or space station, or futuristic city, whatever!) running!

All that matters is you have a character you are familiar with and invested in and a setting you have fleshed out enough to make it "real" to both you and your reader. Once you have those things, just write! You can plan your plot ahead of time, or you can just start writing and see where your character takes you. Your only real limitation is your own imagination. Anything beyond that can be fixed with proofreading, feedback, and revision!

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Magical techies with a healthy serving of life? Sounds like a good balance right there but you're worried about the life part. I don't think you'll run into a problem keeping people reading during the life part, or introducing the magical techies. As for keeping the readers reading during the life part, I don't think there's much trouble there. A lot of good books have life parts, and despite being boring are necessary. Harry Potter does a good job of balancing 'lets save the school!' with 'stupid schoolwork' and keeps the story moving.

You should go ahead and write this, magical techies sounds like a great story, and I'm pretty sure the Witch and Wizard series falls in this setting. Not quite future tech but it's got the magic part. As for rules and mixing genres, just write it well and you'll be fine. I know that this is said a lot, but if you write it well enough you can break all the rules and be fine.

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Sorry to have noticed and what you really seem to be asking is what or how to write, it not both…

There is nothing bad about mixing genres, in itself. Whether a given author has the skill to do that is a different Question. Which matters most to you?

It sounds as though rather than “writing”, you’re “hoping to write”… can you clarify?

When your main character saves the city using fantasy, how does that work? More importantly, how does that matter?

When you use a slice-of-life for drama, how does that work? How does that show what your world looks like, or make the characters “really precious” - whatever that means?

The actual problem seems to be that you have a rather vague idea with nothing to support it. How is that conclusion not reasonable?

If you don't know how to make a slice of life interesting, why not go back to the point where you can state what you do know and work from there?

What you have so far Posted doesn’t suggest anything about 'what is in that world’, nor 'what happened in that world’.

How to progress would be to tell the main plot, recognising that neither slice-of-life nor any other genre matters… which should lead you to Ask why you mind about a novel or anime or anything else?

Most obviously what you should do is write, far and away above asking what or how or why to write.

The rule you should know is: “Write, far and away above asking what or how or why to write."

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