What’s In A Genre!

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I’ve been thinking about this for a while now, and I’m still at a loss as to the answer.

There’s are two reasons for this.

One: What does it mean to have a genre, or to be in a genre. As a reader, I find that reading a book that is listed under a particular ‘theme’, (for want of a better description) can have elements of that would be the guiding factor in another ‘theme’.

Two: As a writer, we find that we “cross-over” with our genre’s and find it hard to put them into a particular box.

On Wikipedia, there are twenty-four listed Genres for literary writing. That isn’t to say that they are clear cut and in the box. There are many side genre’s, all listed with the main idea, that stem from these and cross the boundaries, often blurring them. And this is where the confusion often occurs.

In recent years, there’s been invented a number of new genre’s. Fan-Fiction, for instance, which for many years wasn’t viewed as a serious form of writing. But ask anyone who writes fan-fiction and you will get more than just an earful!

Speculative fiction, is also something, in my opinion, that wasn’t written about as often, being a cross between fantasy and contemporary themes. Also, another that Wiki failed to list is, Afro-futuristism, which was brought to the attention of literary circles by Mark Dery, back in 1993, and was also discussed by Alondra Nelson, during the same period.

My main reasons for writing about this, is the I find myself blurring the lines between genres. I read an interview given by a prominent Literary agent, and when asked about the types of manuscripts he was looking for, he stated that he “was interested in literary fiction that crossed boundaries and genres”!!!

I’m currently working on a few stories, each of which crosses boundaries and would have difficulty fitting into a particular genre. I have always said, I hated to be put inside a box, but i wonder where that leaves writers such as myself, who excel and find their niche writing about what crosses borders and brings about a touch of the unexpected.

I’m still in the process of exploring 100 stories, and have put up a few; the last, story 4, by  myself. When I look at it, I wonder where it would fit as a genre. But then again, I’m not too sure I care!

 

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