I loved this post. It was insightful, very well written and made so much sense. I particularly loved this paragraph:
“The element of storytelling that’s essential in all genres, if I have to only name one, is that the characters act like human beings. That means they’re not always just depressed or happy, because life is an emotional thrill ride.”
I thought Gene’O hit it out of the ballpark with this one. A big thanks to him for this great post!
Genre can mean a couple of things. It can be used to distinguish fiction, nonfiction, drama, poetry, etc.
It can also be used to categorize work as fantasy, romance, literary, etc. I suppose that technically, that second set of categories should be sub-genres, but that’s not how most people use the word.
I view genre as a set of conventions. I don’t make distinctions about the value of the work based on genre; but I do ask questions like:
- How well is the author using the conventions of the genre?
- Are they being innovative?
- Using the same old tricks people have always used for this story?
- Making some interesting statement about the genre itself?
- Incorporating elements of other genres? (I love it when people do this).
I will admit, like anyone else, I prefer some genres to others. I like fantasy, sci-fi, modern realism, literary…
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