10 comments on “Genre Busting

  1. Oh, my, that’s a normal question. I would say that as a neighborhood citizen, if I moved into a new neighborhood, I’d better learn to communicate with the residents. That might mean learning some of the customs (a good source of getting-started fodder), some of the ethnics, and some of the slang.

    Not really much different in doing a different genre. As a writer, one of our goals is to communicate emotions — generally in a known structure. If the genre looks anywhere near interesting (as a challenge, if nothing else), go for it.
    Bruce H. Johnson´s last blog post ..Writers’ Craft and Creativity

  2. No, I don’t think it is. Yes, there are some genres that are more difficult to sell – I hear SciFi comedy is a basssstard! I know, for instance, that the more ‘chick lit ‘ side of women’s fiction (girls eating cupcakes and doing goofy things and eventually getting the man you guess they will get from chapter one, with cover showing said cupcakes and high heels) sells much better than my more gritty, real life sort. I know there is a huge market for the Mills & Boon type romance, as you have observed. But I can’t write like that. I can only write in the way I write.

    I tried to write a Mills & Boon novel years ago. It was rejected, and I didn’t enjoy writing it. I wanted to make the characters say REAL things! I’ve seen some chick lit written by people who aren’t that comfortable with the genre, and it’s riddled with cliche. It all depends, Meester Schmorgio, on your reasons for writing.

    • Hey Terry, I think the motivation does come down to the reasons for writing. When it comes to making it happen I guess I would have an idea based on how easy it comes. If it seems like pushing a rock up a hill the whole time, that might be an indicator I’m not doing what I’m supposed to.

      Thanks for commenting, Terry!


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  4. Hi, George!
    Genrefication is the millstone around a creative writer’s neck. There, I said it, as I say time and again.
    Genres were created by Old School publishing houses to typecast and pidgeonhole the work of writers for commercial purposes. They are manmade constructs.
    Today, with publishing being freed of its tired constraints, independent writers and e-publishers like me are running against conventionality, against the grain, coloring outside the so-called boundaries of sameness.
    Sure, I write short stories, but I try to write with a new and fresh point of view which readers have not come across in their travels. In the over 100 works I have published, I have experimented with all sorts of genres and can even claim to have created a genre of my very own making.
    I call them LongShortStories.
    No, they’re not extended-play stories nor are they copies of other writers’ traditional short fiction writing. They’re mine and mine alone.
    But when you hang your creative ass out like I do, I have no illusions. Discoverability may take a bit longer but hey, that’s OK. For me, writing is a marathon, not a sprint to the finish line.
    My advice to new writers (and to those who feel they have hit the genre wall) I offer this:
    Write what your soul tells you to and don’t worry if it is commercially viable in the ever-shrinking world of traditional publishing.
    Don’t be afraid to be YOU!

    • Hi Wayne,

      Thanks for dropping by and weighing in. Your experience shows in your wisdom and your words. I agree that it is tough enough just trying to be a new writer without all of the extra nuances.

      And there is certainly a level of comfort in writing what you are most comfortable with.


  5. I once read an article which stated that many successful writers first survey the demand, identify an under-serviced area or genre, and then write for it. The article went on to say that the majority of writers go about it the wrong way. They write something and then go looking for readers, which is putting the cart in front of the oxen. I don’t know if this is true, but I know most writers including myself find it hard to do it this way. What comes naturally is just to write what flows from your mind regardless of the market.

    • Hi Rolando,

      It seems like we are a bit trapped, then. I think most of us do write what we want and what feels right, therefore putting the cart before the horse in terms of possible marketing success.



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