About a month back, I've decided to dedicate more time into Literature SE, and have contributed to editing (and still editing) many of the tag excerpt wikis. I've learned a lot about community expectations & guidelines, what we do here, and how we tag things.
During my time, however, I noticed some inconsistencies regarding tags. For example, we have time-travel for some reason even though it's only really used for identification and doesn't seem consistent with any other tags out there.
I started thinking more about genre tags when I asked this question and tagged it under gothic-literature. Rand al'Thor responded by stating that
We don't usually use genre tags except for questions (like this one) about the genre as a whole.
So that's what I accepted until I saw that specific comic works were tagged with the name of the work along with comics (more on this in a different meta post). This triggered a very long discussion about genre tags and Tsundoku suggested that
If we want to tag questions about genres in general, wouldn't it make more sense to use a tag such as genre-definition or genre-characteristics or even simply genre instead of a tag for each individual genre?
It seems that this isn't really a topic that's been resolved, even though Hamlet's answer to Do we need a children's literature tag? and Rand's post in 2017 both seem to assert that genre tags shouldn't be used.
I think we need to also differentiate between what Rand al'Thor calls genre and medium.
A genre is defined as "a category of artistic composition, as in music or literature, characterized by similarities in form, style, or subject matter". In this case, the definition that's most relevant is the "subject matter" part. Basically, genres are dependent on the content itself, and content in "form, style, or subject" matter often tend to blur. On the other hand...
A medium is defined as "a means by which something is communicated or expressed". Unlike genres, mediums tend to be much more straightforward. poetry, short-stories, song-lyrics and pretty much all language tags are all medium-based tags, a way that the stories are communicated. There's some inconsistencies in tagging these that I want to address in a different meta, but for now, other mediums seem to include: theater, comics, and folk-tales. Also perhaps oral-tradition?
Now I know what some of y'all are thinking: So what? Why does it matter? No one else really seems to care that much about it. Aren't you making a big deal about a trivial thing?
And to that I say, "Well yes, but actually no."
As a sapling tag wiki editor, it's very frustrating to see inconsistencies, because I don't know whether I'm supposed to do this or that. This inconsistency seems to also cause a lot of confusion within chat as well.
Purpose of a tag:
From my understanding, tags help to pinpoint answerers (experts) to questions specialized to them and help people locate answered questions in the future. Specialized genre tags can do that, but at what cost? Besides a handful of questions, pretty much all genre tags are used in story-identification, which I'm not sure really justifies its existence.