The recent discussions about tagging and browsing got us thinking about some work we did a while back, and we've taken a shot at categorizing the tags on WFG listings into a browseable display. You can try it at: http://sdy.org/wfg/browsetags.cgi . (Click the tags you want to see, then the "view" link to see the matching listings.)
The tags are separated out based on which of these things they seem to represent:
- Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, etc.
- Characters: Supernatual / Mythological, Animals, etc.
- Moods: Light or dark.
- Settings: High school, post-apocalyptic . . .
- Forms or formats: Complete novels, podcast only . . .
- Topics and themes: Love, time travel, hockey . . .
Categorizing fiction turns out be be pretty hard, because it's composed of so many different aspects. There are two references we found especially helpful: A big list of Genres http://www.cuebon.com/ewriters/genres.html, and a very good discussion of the Elements of Fiction http://learn.lexiconic.net/elementsoffiction.htm.
A couple of things to note: Since the tags were not selected with this framework in mind, the match isn't perfect. "Romance" could mean Genre ("Romance Novel for Girls"), or Topic ("romance is important to the plot"). Also, the data we're working from are a few weeks old, so results won't completely match the current WFG listings.