1. Sniper
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    Sniper New Member

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    A Question of Genre

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Sniper, Oct 30, 2012.

    Hello all.

    My question: how important is it to determine which genre/s your work/s fall into? I've never attempted to define my own writing through genre beyond the exceptionally vague label of "fantasy" because I feel like it stifles... something. The urge to explore, I guess; the freedom to explore the characters and settings without making them adhere to whatever might be expected of that genre. At the same time, those expectations could potentially become very useful in either inverting or subverting them, and knowing the plot's genre may help in building the plot around in.

    So... thoughts and opinions?
     
  2. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    It's not important at all. Genre comes into play at the end, not the start, of the writing process. It is simply a way to categorize the work.
     
  3. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Well, unless you're writing something that specifically seeks to invert/subvert/reinvent a certain genre - say, Quentin Tarentino (can't spell his name) with his use/influence of anime violence - I don't think genre matters at all. You need it at the end to know which agent to submit to, but otherwise, just write.

    However, if you're writing to SELL as opposed to writing for the pleasure and hopefully the privilege of publication and some cash, then yes, knowing the genre would be important because only then can you stick to certain conventions. Say I think Bernard Cornwell, is that his name, did that - I never read his books but that's what a friend said. I certainly know authors like Lee Child does it - the style is very, very deliberate and it fits perfectly in every element into the genre he's writing - you can tell between the lines though that's not how he actually writes, but how he's chosen to write because he knows it sells. Takes a good writer to do that, in my opinion, but it's also rather a shame, because Lee Child could be so good, but as it is his writing is terrible. But hey, he's published like 10 bestselling novels and Tom Cruise is starring as his MC and the film should be out soon, so I guess it depends on what kind of reward you'd prefer to have sometimes.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Mostly it comes into play when seeking a publisher.
     
  5. Thumpalumpacus
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    Thumpalumpacus Contributing Member

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    Tell the story first. It will tell you what it is.
     

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