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enchantedsleeper's avatar

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Has anyone here heard of Mystic Punk? You probably haven't - it's a new subgenre of Urban Fantasy and at the moment it's virtually unknown. But I'm making this thread for writers to find out about and discuss it, because I think it's really awesome and I bet it would interest a lot of people here. :3

Mystic Punk is a term coined by author L.D. Robwell, a subgenre which features the themes common to his favourite bands, films, comics, TV shows and literature, and which he thinks the Urban Fantasy genre needs to see more of. In his words, it is "a fantasy sub genre with a progressive edge" which rejects the whitewashed, cookie-cutter tendencies of modern Urban Fantasy; it is "a genre for activists", "a subversive genre which attempts to challenge societal constructs, conventions and authorities". It is a genre he hopes to create by putting together an anthology of short stories that classify as Mystic Punk, as well as writing his own Mystic Punk stories and generally spreading the word about it.

So what qualifies a story, film, comic etc. as Mystic Punk? The Mystic Punk genre is made up of six elements:

Mysticism: This is not necessarily religion as such but more an element of the spiritual or supernatural, something magical or divine, which can't be explained by the laws of our world as we know it.

Punk-ness: Anything which challenges the established conventions and expectations of our society, in the spirit of true and original Punk. Stories which are argumentative and make the reader think, incorporating a Punk aesthetic and Punk audacity.

Minorities in Major Roles: Because how many urban societies that you know of are entirely white, neurotypical, cisgender, able-bodied and heterosexual? That's right, none of them. Mystic Punk seeks to diversify Urban Fantasy by making minority characters into more than just tokens. It doesn't necessarily focus on the fact that they are minorities, just that they are real human beings with depth, strengths and flaws.

Ambiguity: Creating situations in which there is no right or wrong answer, where things are not what they seem, or which otherwise leave the reader to debate what is really going on in the story and question the events and situations that take place.

Music: Of all kinds. That is all.

Visual Distortions of the Face: Things like masks, makeup, facepaint or anything that covers or affects the face like shadows, scars... even just an element distorting someone's vision. This is primarily a visual aesthetic.

For a more in-depth explanation of the Mystic Punk genre, you can also read this article, and check out its [********] for related quotes and info.


And there you have it! You might be thinking that Mystic Punk is a hell of a picky genre for having so many requirements, but they all play into different parts of the story. The Mysticism and Punk elements are primarily aspects of setting as well as plot to an extent; Minorities deals with characters, Ambiguity is a plot aspect and Music and Face Distortions are purely aesthetics, like gears and goggles are to Steampunk. They don't always need to be present, but the other four are really important.

Anyway, I've said my piece razz What do you all think of the concept - awesome or utter rubbish? Should it be possible for someone to just up and create a new genre? Do you think it'll be successful or just a flash in the plan? Do you like the idea of revolutionising Urban Fantasy or is it just fine the way it is? TELL ME YOUR OPINIONS.

Also, that anthology I mentioned earlier? It's still accepting submissions and writers who get accepted will be paid and published. I can't link to it here, but check out my thread in the Promotions subforum to find out more.
I don't really like putting my writing in a genre--I find it is restrictive, and hinders me from what I want to do: write my story. Once it's done, then I can worry about the genre. Stuff like fantasy, sci-fi, etc, covers a pretty wide area so that's fine, but where I'm at in my writing, I would find writing specifically for a genre like Mystic Punk extremely restrictive.

However, about the minority thing? I try to be inclusive. My main character is Latino, and her best friend is lesbian. I didn't originally set out to say, I'm going to write about a Latino chick and her best friend who happens to be lesbian, but that was how they ended up.

But that's just my opinion.
DarknessofHeavenandDreams's avatar

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That's not what a 'punk' means in terms of subgenre.

'Punk' is a dystopia, usually a certain kind according to the subgenre is conforms with (steam punk and clock punk have different types of dystopias in them usually).
Ysavvryl's avatar

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It sounds like a marketing tactic to me: pick up on 'hip' concepts and sell them as something new. I just want to write stories. I would say that the minority factor is probably a good thing, but I'd rather not see minorities used just for the sake of having a minority representative.

I've been told that I write magepunk because I write stories where magic is extremely common as a source of power, like electricity is. I guess they're slightly dystopic too. But I just happen to like the concept.
enchantedsleeper
Has anyone here heard of Mystic Punk? You probably haven't - it's a completely new subgenre of Urban Fantasy and at the moment it's virtually unknown. But I'm making this thread for writers to find out about and discuss it, because I think it's really awesome and I bet it would interest a lot of people here. :3
How is this a new sub-genre? I know they've been writing stories exactly like that since at least 1989.
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Maltese_Falcon91
enchantedsleeper
Has anyone here heard of Mystic Punk? You probably haven't - it's a completely new subgenre of Urban Fantasy and at the moment it's virtually unknown. But I'm making this thread for writers to find out about and discuss it, because I think it's really awesome and I bet it would interest a lot of people here. :3
How is this a new sub-genre? I know they've been writing stories exactly like that since at least 1989.

It's new because it now has a name.
Mortok's avatar

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Quote:
Mysticism: This is not necessarily religion as such but more an element of the spiritual or supernatural, something magical or divine, which can't be explained by the laws of our world as we know it.

Virtually all fantasy does this, all of the time.

Quote:
Punk-ness: Anything which is edgy, 'out there' and challenges the established concepts and constructs of our society, in the spirit of true and original Punk. Many of the subgenres we stick the suffix "-punk" onto aren't actually particularly controversial or Punk-like. Mystic Punk will be.

Almost all literature was considered 'controversial' or 'challenging' at some point.

Quote:
Minorities in Major Roles: Because how many urban societies that you know of are entirely white, neurotypical, cisgender, able-bodied and heterosexual? That's right, none of them. Mystic Punk seeks to diversify Urban Fantasy by making minority characters into more than just tokens. It doesn't necessarily focus on the fact that they are minorities, just that they are real human beings with depth, strengths and flaws.

Again, a significant amount of literature already does this. There are several examples of Urban Fantasy where a racial or sexual minority had a major role and was treated like a 'real' character.

Quote:
Ambiguity: In other words, room for discussion around the world and the plot of a story; making the reader ask questions which go deeper than just "should this girl date Hot Guy A or Hot Guy B?"

Once again: Plenty of literature already does this. Most of it, in fact.

Quote:
Music: Of all kinds. That is all.

This might be going somewhere, but I can still think of several fantasy works that incorporated music in a significant way.

Quote:
Visual Distortions of the Face: Things like masks, makeup, facepaint or anything that covers or affects the face like shadows, scars... even just an element distorting someone's vision. This is primarily a visual aesthetic.

Extremely common in fantasy of all kinds.

In short, 'Mystic Punk' is not introducing anything revolutionary to the genre, or even anything relatively new. I don't think it would be difficult to find at least one work of Urban Fantasy that already incorporates all of these elements. Separating it into its own subgenre is hardly necessary.
enchantedsleeper

Music: Of all kinds. That is all.


Not all music has to do with punks, minorities, or magic.
enchantedsleeper's avatar

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enchantedsleeper

Music: Of all kinds. That is all.


Not all music has to do with punks, minorities, or magic.


I never said it did. But music of whatever kind is an integral element to Mystic Punk. It doesn't need to have anything to do with the aspects I listed prior to that.
enchantedsleeper

I never said it did. But music of whatever kind is an integral element to Mystic Punk. It doesn't need to have anything to do with the aspects I listed prior to that.


It is? 90% (at least) of the time, music doesn't fit into prose at all. It makes the story drag.

Is this a subgenre of 'long boring stories with magic in them'?

What the hell is 'edgy'? I thought that was just 90's slang used to describe bad comics.
enchantedsleeper's avatar

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It is? 90% (at least) of the time, music doesn't fit into prose at all. It makes the story drag.


Yes, it is. I'll quote you what L.D. Robwell says about the music thing:

Quote:
This is a genre that is influenced by music and that uses music as a common theme. There should be a musical element to your story. This is not always possible but keep in mind that music is tied to the divine. Every culture in the world recognizes this connection. If you're writing about spirituality and there are no elements of music, you're doing something wrong.


Feel free to nitpick that, but they're his words and not mine this time. As for music making the story drag, surely that would depend on how it's incorporated. It's not meant to involve inserting long lines of lyrics into the middle of an action scene. I think if the writer has enough skill, a musical aspect can be incorporated smoothly.
enchantedsleeper

Quote:
This is a genre that is influenced by music and that uses music as a common theme. There should be a musical element to your story. This is not always possible but keep in mind that music is tied to the divine. Every culture in the world recognizes this connection. If you're writing about spirituality and there are no elements of music, you're doing something wrong.


Well, the connection to the divine makes sense. What if you were just influenced by a song, or wrote something while listening to music you felt was on par with spiritual?

Still, what is 'edgy'? I don't know if I'm writing this subgenre or not.

Should I post a summary/example and you tell me if it is or not and what it has and lacks?
enchantedsleeper's avatar

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Well, the connection to the divine makes sense. What if you were just influenced by a song, or wrote something while listening to music you felt was on par with spiritual?


I think that would probably be fine. :3

Moral Gutpunch
Still, what is 'edgy'? I don't know if I'm writing this subgenre or not.

Should I post a summary/example and you tell me if it is or not and what it has and lacks?


Sure, you can if you like ^^ I'm not the authority on it though, just trying to start up some discussion around the idea.

Okay, 'edgy' is probably a bad word to use xD I really meant to say "controversial". I've edited that out of the first post. I also reworded the "Ambiguity" section.
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Mortok


In short, 'Mystic Punk' is not introducing anything revolutionary to the genre, or even anything relatively new. I don't think it would be difficult to find at least one work of Urban Fantasy that already incorporates all of these elements. Separating it into its own subgenre is hardly necessary.


I'd have to agree with Mortok here. Having controversial elements isn't really enough to classify something into some new subgenre.
enchantedsleeper

Okay, 'edgy' is probably a bad word to use xD I really meant to say "controversial". I've edited that out of the first post.

Isn't that most works of fiction? Event he bible was banned at one point in time.

Form the rewording, it sounds like DS9 of Star Trek. Call someone a chosen one, slap on some face ridges, and bam, star Trek is now mystic punk.

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