About Genres

I’m sick of them. I’ve always hated them. Is it rock, metal, or indie? Is it science-fiction, „literature“ (what in hell is that, by the way?), or mystery? Is it deconstructivism, surrealism, or impressionism?
Why must human beings always categorize things to death?
I say that’s all bullshit. For me, a good book is literature, and I don’t give a damn which category you’d put it in. All good books have common elements in them which have nothing to do with their particular genre. The point being that the genre is unimportant.
Yes, I like science-fiction, but not exclusively, and I don’t like a book just because it is science-fiction. In fact, there is not a whole lot of science-fiction I can read, because most of it is trash. The genre seems to attract lousy writers, perhaps because they think it’s a sort of free-for-all. Fantasy writers are even worse. No real-world rules, yoo-hoo! But, for Christ’s sake, that doesn’t mean the rules of good story-telling don’t apply. It doesn’t mean you can ignore logic and common sense. It doesn’t mean you can disregard style and syntax. Bad author, BAD, heel! They’ll never learn, those bloody fucking authors. Don’t trust ’em.

3 thoughts on “About Genres

  1. From a writing point of view, I agree with you that most genre books are formulaic and flat.
    From a reading point of view, I also see the difficulty of getting a work into the hands and face of someone who will enjoy it. Not every volume is for everyone; far from it! As readers, no matter how eclectic, we really do have our niches.
    From a novelist’s point of view, I must eventually confront the conundrum of getting an innovative (non-genre) piece free of the monolithic genre now called “literary fiction” and into the consciousness of an audience.
    Any suggestions?

    • I would think this is a question of marketing.
      This is something you don’t necessarily want to be dealing with, since you most likely just want to write. Dammit, you’re an author, not a bloody advertising man, right? Well, unless you’ve somehow caught the eye of the publishing business and can allow them to do the marketing for you (drawback: you probably have no influence on how your book is marketed, it may very well be marketed to an audience you don’t want to reach…), you have to do the marketing for yourself.
      How? That’s up to you, I don’t think there is a pat formula for that, as I am sure you know. No matter how you do it, it’s not going to be easy getting heard above the cacophony of other people trying to be heard. Simply “being different” may help, but even that goes down in the flood of everyone else trying to be different. Find like-minded people who will spread the word… well, that is pretty much what blogging is about.

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