Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Genres: Good or Bad?

So yesterday I went through my box of notebooks/binders/stuff etc. and I realized that I dabble in at least four different genres. I'm not really one for genres. It's irritating when people judge something based on its genre and not the thing itself. I've read books from genres that I've always said had no interest to me and I like the book. It was a great book. Now normally books categorized in that genre hold to interest to me. No excitement. But because I gave it a chance I found a really good book.

Also, on the subject of genres, for some reason it bothers me when people lump science fiction and fantasy together. Totally not the same, nor should they be considered the same or thrown together on sites and what not. Anyways.... the genres I most enjoy reading (and writing) are fantasy, science fiction, horror, and action (action adventure?).

One more thing regarding genres. Like a lot of aspiring writers I have looked at "guide books" for writing. Some for general writing and more specifically for the genres I was writing in. And I found it really irritating some of the things that were said. The things that seemed to be pushed across as "concrete rules". Example: In science fiction I've came across one thing time and time again. That you need to research the science in your story. Like the real life science. Say living on a different planet. "They" say to research the progress that has been and is being made on said subject. That way you are more "believable" or "credible" to your readers. But why? I mean it's fiction. It's my story, my world, my writing. If I want to make up some crazy unrealistic reason as to how humans can live on the sun then why can't I? Why does that make my story anything less than a "credible" sci-fi story?

Basically what I'm saying is that I feel people are misusing the term genre. Now it's a way to separate people into groups. Why can't everything be on it's own platform? I have my own "genre"... things I enjoy.

So yeah. That's me ranting about something silly! How do you all feel about genres? What are your thoughts on them?


  1. You're writing style is interesting. I enjoyed reading this post.

    I'm like you - but with music. I defy genres and I listen to most all different styles of music from all time periods. I just love music so much that I can nopt limit myself to one style or time period. About the only genre I don't care for is rap and hip-hop. Although I do love R&B, funk and soul from the 1950's, 1960's and 1970's.

  2. Interesting? I like that! Thanks :D

    I guess I sort of leaned toward books but I think originally I had meant genres in general. For any type of art (if that's the right word). Though in music I tend to stay in the same general area I like each band for themselves, not because they are labeled at that "genre".

  3. I agree with you at least partially. I don't think all genres should be as hard and fast as a lot of people paint them to be. And more and more you're starting to find books being published that don't quite fit snugly into the style of a specific genre.

    However with your example of science fiction, I disagree with you a little. Much of science fiction IS playing with what is known or suspected of science along with the fiction of what could happen. That's why it gains the name of "science fiction". Most die-hard sci-fi fans will not read you if you don't have at least a tiny amount of "real" science dabbled in, or something story aspect that is at least based on real science. They want the fiction, the fantastic ideas of what could be, but the joy of science fiction is taking what we know in the world and showing with a bit of imagination what it could turn into. It does indeed make it more relatable. I'm not saying you can't write science fiction without researching the science aspects you are covering first, but any good author researches things. Even in my complete and utter fantasy world I'm working in right now, where anything could happen, I'm still researching types of vegetation that grow in certain climates, etc. Yes I can do with it what I want, but my reader, who is grounded in this world, needs to be able to relate somehow to what I'm writing, even if they don't realize that's what they're doing. Sometimes research is as simple as reading other authors and seeing how they deal with the subject, sometimes it is as complicated as years of history research. With sci-fi, research is typically scientific. And though you may throw off any research and refuse to use it, just know that you are (most likely) throwing off loads upon loads of your genre fans.

  4. That's what I was saying. They knock off this author because they read online that his facts are "correct" and they could be very well passing up the most amazing story they have ever heard. But that's how people are.

    I never research. And the fear of losing fans won't change that. I enjoy what I write even if no one else ever will. And that's not gonna change.