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Mr. Anonymous
02-26-2012, 10:05 AM
so i was procrastinating a Hegel paper (guess what I'm doing now?) and I decided to try writing a sci fi short. I'd recently listened to a couple lightspeed shorts and thought to myself, "Okay, I got this." Turns out, no, no I don't got it at all. I was shocked at how bad it was. Part of it is because I tend to rely a lot on voice and character--whereas this scene was more heavy on action and plot. Also I don't really have any idea about practical things. How a spaceship would look, or function, how space battles would work, how to even go about describing things in space... Is there any genre you guys you tried writing in and you were like "wow, I wish this had never happened."

EDIT: Okay, just realized this might be taken the wrong way. I didn't mean to imply that sci fi can't be character based/voice driven. Some of my favorite sci fi has been just that. I guess what I meant was I was trying to write something like a military sci fi and I realized I was in over my head and had no idea what I was doing (part of which may have been due to the way I was approaching the genre, not anything inherent in the genre itself.)

PrincessofPersia
02-26-2012, 11:30 AM
Everything I write tends to turn into some sort of surrealist black comedy, so maybe I'm only able to write in one genre subset. I'm attempting to write a horror short that is actually scary, so we'll see if it actually stays that way or goes bananas on me.

backslashbaby
02-26-2012, 01:19 PM
Yeah, I can't write most of them. Not interestingly, anyway :)

kuwisdelu
02-26-2012, 01:35 PM
I can't really write straight-up genre fiction in general. It always turns into literary fiction with ______ elements. Well. I'd still call it by whatever genre it is, but it'd still end up as literary fiction of whatever genre is what I mean. And all I mean by that is it probably wouldn't fit the expectations of the average readers of whatever genre, and they'd put it down in disappointment.

That said.

I can't do romance (I write love stories, but can't deal with HEA's). I can't do thrillers (too plot-based for me). I've never really tried a mystery: I don't really want to say I couldn't, but thinking about my plots is generally hard enough without having to keep track of clues. I probably could if I really, really wanted to, but for all practical purposes, can't do historical (too much research). I can't do a traditional Western, but I could probably do a non-traditional one (me kinda falling on the Indian sides of the cowboys and Indians thing).

blacbird
02-26-2012, 02:13 PM
Like Kuwis, all of them, apparently. And I've tried to do stuff that settles into a standard genre the way my cats settle into a blanket under a warm lamp; but it just doesn't work. The only stuff I've written that feels "finished" slips into the unmanageable and unpublishable genre, the one that just "isn't for us", as the rejection-slip phrase goes.

caw

BenPanced
02-26-2012, 02:58 PM
I probably couldn't write horror. For me, it's visual ; I'd prefer to see a horror movie than read a horror book.

Night_Writer
02-26-2012, 03:19 PM
I don't think I could ever write a Western. But then, I can't imagine that I would ever need to write a Western.


Everything I write tends to turn into some sort of surrealist black comedy...

OK, this sounds really interesting. I do hope you share something in the SYW forum, because you have me really curious now.

owlion
02-26-2012, 03:23 PM
I can't write Romance at all. I tried a couple of times and gave up very quickly. My brain just can't work out how to write realistic AND idealistic love into one story, and have the story revolve around a relationship.

bearilou
02-26-2012, 03:34 PM
I don't think I could ever write a Western. But then, I can't imagine that I would ever need to write a Western.


Which is precisely why I'm trying to write one. Because I haven't before and I can't think of a reason why other than...well...I haven't.

I can't think of a genre I just can't write. I may suck eggs at it but I'd at least give it a shot. After all, there's no reason to not try to be competent even if it's not a genre I'll ever write with any regularity.

ladyleeona
02-26-2012, 08:15 PM
I can't write mysteries--too much plotting involved. I'm hoping one day I'll be able to discipline myself enough to write one though.

Filigree
02-26-2012, 08:37 PM
Right now, anything YA. It's a hot genre,and I wish I could. But dark and adult stuff creeps in, no matter my good intentions.

PrincessofPersia
02-26-2012, 08:57 PM
OK, this sounds really interesting. I do hope you share something in the SYW forum, because you have me really curious now.

I probably will when I'm done my current WIP. I put a story on hold to write it, but I'll be going back to it when I'm done. It started out as a detective story, but it went to a dark, weird place disturbingly fast.

Silver-Midnight
02-26-2012, 09:04 PM
Truthfully, I don't know. My comfort zone is romance/erotica so, I do write a lot of that. However, I have written things that just had "romantic things" (people thinking about past relationships and etc.). I haven't really strayed too much from that yet. I'm trying to get past that zone though. I'm doing it in "baby steps".

One genre I think would harder for me to write would probably be mystery. That is highly plot-driven, and would require a lot of planning to make sure that it made sense.

I also think I would have trouble writing literary fiction. However, that's just me.

EDIT: Besides given my siggy, I feel kind of weird saying I can't write in a certain genre that I haven't tried. :D

CACTUSWENDY
02-26-2012, 09:17 PM
It would appear I can not write anything in any genre that would be worth reading. :Shrug: (That's my statement and I'm sticking to it.) :partyguy:

flapperphilosopher
02-26-2012, 09:34 PM
Like a lot of you, probably the number one genre I couldn't write would be mystery; I don't have that flair for plot! I couldn't do plot-driven period, so thrillers and the like are out. I'd have a really hard time with sci-fi I think, for the same reasons as the OP--what are the practical things like? Like kuisdelu, I think pretty much anything I tried would end up on the literary side and probably disappoint most genre readers, hehe.

Sage
02-26-2012, 09:59 PM
I can't do romance (I write love stories, but can't deal with HEA's).This here? Is me

Also, any time I try to write something with no spec fic elements, they come anyway. "Hey, let me try to write a book about a reality show. Oh, look, there's a ghost." ;)

kuwisdelu
02-26-2012, 10:01 PM
Right now, anything YA. It's a hot genre,and I wish I could. But dark and adult stuff creeps in, no matter my good intentions.


I also think I would have trouble writing literary fiction. However, that's just me.

Psst. YA and literary fiction aren't genres. But that's okay.

Also, dark doesn't keep it from being YA.

Undercover
02-26-2012, 10:16 PM
It's weird to see a lot of writers find it hard to write mystery/thrillers. That's about all I write. My mind is always plotting against me in real life, I'm always living in suspense. It drives me batty sometimes.

I wouldn't touch sci-fi, I just can't get into that genre. Although I do like watching some movies and tv shows about it. That "Face-off" series about the make-up artists is so cool to watch. So I do respect that category a lot. I think it takes a VERY creative mind to whip something like that up.

Xelebes
02-26-2012, 10:23 PM
Levels I can't write: YA. I completely skipped this whole level of reading, never mind writing. Went from children's novels straight to adult novels.

Genres:

Mystery - Don't find any appeal to write in it, although on occasion I like reading them. Not going to bother.
Thriller - They don't thrill me when reading them, I probably can't get myself writing anything appreciable here.
Romance/Romances - Don't like the classical form nor the modern form. Not likely to have much success in this regard if I tried.

Silver-Midnight
02-26-2012, 10:52 PM
Psst. YA and literary fiction aren't genres. But that's okay.

Haha. :tongue Good to know. ;)

triceretops
02-26-2012, 11:25 PM
I'm sure I couldn't write a straight up romance, let alone any erotica. The romance would be awkward, even farce, and the sex scenes would be filled with blunt force trauma.

Never attempted a western. I'm afraid of research involved.

tri

MysteryRiter
02-26-2012, 11:32 PM
I can write pretty much anything, actually, but I definitely can't write erotica. Nor am I especially skilled at fantasy, dystopians, sci-fic, etc.

muravyets
02-26-2012, 11:47 PM
I can't wrap my brain around whodunit mysteries, the puzzle kinds where the plot drops clues along the way. I'm not good at devising games like that. I'm not good at playing such games, either, so I'm kind of a passive reader of those books.

I'd have a problem with children's lit, too. I don't know how to gear my language to different age groups. I can't talk to kids, either, at least not the way their parents expect me to.

Other than that, there probably isn't a genre I wouldn't try, at least as a learning exercise. Even the ones I don't personally like.

Now that covers being able to write in the sense of learning to understand the genre. Being able to write in the sense of being good at it -- I make no claims or promises.

Bogna
02-27-2012, 12:30 AM
Every time I try and write a story in a different genre then I normally write, it turns out to be very dark and twisted. Way darker than my normal writing. Its like trying new genres brings out the evil in me.

Jamesaritchie
02-27-2012, 01:24 AM
I write mysteries, and I don't plot at all. I think it's those who don't write mysteries who think you have to come up with plot twists and turns in advance, or that you actually have to think about plot in some odd way.

A mystery is just another story, and no more difficult to write than any other. Most of the mystery writers I enjoy reading don't outline, don't plan in any way, don't sit around thinking about plot, etc. They just sit down and tell a story, the same as writers in any other genre.

I think I can write in any genre, if I'm willing to sit down and read at least fifty novels in that genre. A hundred is better, with a mix of classics in the field, and current bestsellers. Outside of trappings, a story is pretty much a story, and people are people.

Medievalist
02-27-2012, 01:28 AM
I think I can write in any genre, if I'm willing to sit down and read at least fifty novels in that genre. A hundred is better, with a mix of classics in the field, and current bestsellers. Outside of trappings, a story is pretty much a story, and people are people.

So how's that lesbian romance coming along dude?

Or the gay Western?

latourdumoine
02-27-2012, 03:28 AM
Comedy. Every other year or so, I keep trying, and it never works out. I love irony, great jokes, and I can easily make people laugh in real life, but write a comedy I can't. Once my favorite Creative Writing tutor pointed out all the opportunities I'd missed to insert comedy in a story, I knew it was hopeless. That was ages ago and still nothing. Last one I tried was some years ago. Someone told me the working title was basically the first line of a joke, think I noticed or even thought to expand on that? :D

Interesting thing is, I can do sarcasm and irony really well in articles and it comes out in fiction as well. But straight up comedy, no way. And I admire those who can do it so much.

There are other genres I haven't really tried, but comedy is the one that really stands out.

randi.lee
02-27-2012, 03:40 AM
Romance! Any kind of romance. I'm trying to incorporate just a little romance into my WIP but it seems to only come out when someone is dying... I'm starting to think I might need a writing buddy to throw ideas back and forth with.

Kitty27
02-27-2012, 04:43 AM
Literary Fiction.

I can't with this genre. I tried and was hopelessly lost.

Contemporary YA. I fail utterly with this genre.

elindsen
02-27-2012, 05:03 AM
I can't do literary fiction at all. Please don't take offense but I just find it too boring. Also I can't do hard-core fantasy or mystery (murder types). Just isn't my cup of tea :)

Filigree
02-27-2012, 06:54 AM
Kuwi, that's why I said 'anything YA'. I loved reading what would now be called YA novels as a teen, but most of the current offerings? Meh.
If I don't like to read them, I probably can't write one.

thothguard51
02-27-2012, 07:31 AM
About a year ago, I decided to stray away from the fantasy series I am penning and write a straight up scifi story. Its not hard scifi but I did research somethings I was not clear on. I wrote three chapters and put a couple up on SYW and got some good responses.

What I found out thought is that the damn story is the prequel to my fantasy series and I did not get away from my damn fantasy series. A year later I am still thinking on how to proceed...

In the mean time, I tried writing another story. I was not sure of genre, only that it was going to be set in present day and the plot involved a loner caught up in other peoples problems. Well, five chapters in, it turned into SFF and could easily be from my fantasy series set after the current time period...

Arggg, I could probably write a damn Gothic romance and it would still end up in my fantasy series...

I am feeling doomed here but realise that I write what I know best...

Cyia
02-27-2012, 07:43 AM
Erotica.

Don't ask. (The characters are still in therapy. :tongue)

((That may be hyperbole :tongue :tongue ))

Silver-Midnight
02-27-2012, 08:13 AM
Truthfully, I would like to try something with Gothic/horror themes in it. I don't know if I can do it simply because 1) I scare easily and 2) I haven't really written anything slightly "unnerving or creepy" since....a while. That was a poem. So, I mean it can be done, but it'd probably be a bit hard to do.

artemis31386
02-27-2012, 08:13 AM
I can't write in YA or Romance. I can write something with romantic elements, but I can't write true romance. I also have trouble thinking as a YA protag so that genre is out for me.

Gammer
02-27-2012, 09:29 AM
Literary fiction for me. Way too introspective and too lacking in action for my tastes.

bettielee
02-27-2012, 09:51 AM
Contemporary romance.

I need a corset, or a vampire, or a magical stone in my heroine's chest instead of a heart.

I don't know why that is.

Aggy B.
02-27-2012, 06:46 PM
I don't do contemporary anything very well. Or comedy. But the lack of skill is probably from lack of interest. And the knowledge that speculative fiction (fantasy/science-fiction/slipstream/magical realism/urban fantasy/horror/space opera/steampunk/clockpunk/etc) comes far more readily when I sit down to write.

Richard White
02-27-2012, 07:10 PM
I'm not sure there's anything I "can't" write, although I'm sure there are things I can write more naturally and some I'd have to research to learn the current styles and nuances.

I know there are things I'm not interested enough in to try and write. I don't see myself ever writing erotica. I don't see myself writing a contemporary romance. I don't see myself writing splatter punk horror. I don't see myself writing contemporary "slice-of-life" stories.

It's not that there's anything inherently bad with any of the above literary styles or genres, it's just that they don't interest me. When I write, I like to think I'm entertaining myself first and then my audience. Therefore, I'm not going to tie myself down for months to write a story just to "knock it out".

I never want to get accused of just "mailing it in for the check".

Chazevelt
03-01-2012, 09:50 AM
What an interesting question to ponder, and I'm finding the responses to be quite enlightening as well as entertaining. Upon posing the query to my writer within, I find it evokes two answers: What I cannot write, and what the heck is it that I do write?

What simply shrivels my brain into atrophy are kiddy lit, any genre aimed at YA, anything involving werewolves or vampires, and poetry. Can't do fantasy, either. Don't write straight-up erotica, by my sex scenes can be pretty intense. Not a fan of sweet romances where the literary camera drifts to the sky right when it starts to get good.

I can crank out a long and involved Sci Fi story, but it's filled with action, adventure, romance, and sometimes a little mystery. Because there are space ships and aliens, is it stricly SciFi? Or, because the two lead characters eventually fall in love, is it a romance? Or is it an action/adventure set in space? A romantic action/adventure set in space?

I love to write westerns; the old west, with horses and cattle and gunmen and wolves (not the were kind). But they involve action, adventure, and yeah, romance.

My WIP is another conundrum. I originally wrote the entire thing as a romance. Then I sat down, changed the POV, switched lead characters, and made the romance secondary to the action/adventure. But it's set in current day Wyoming, based on a ranch. (Western?) It's military themed, but there are a couple of secondary mysteries to be sorted out. (Action/adventure or Mystery?) To really twist it into a genre knot, the main plot is one man's inner turmoil as he sorts through a mid-life crisis, a drinking problem, and PTSD. (Where the heck does that fall?) About the only genre it doesn't cross into is Sci Fi... but dare me to put it through another rewrite and watch what happens.

So I guess, if I were to list the genres I CAN write, I'd have to say western, action/adventure, romance, mystery, and sci fi. Deciding WHAT genre I've written, well, Hoss, reckon all I can do is swing for the fences and wait to see what color horse I've beaned on the ass.

horrorshowjack
03-01-2012, 09:58 AM
I think I can write in any genre, if I'm willing to sit down and read at least fifty novels in that genre. A hundred is better, with a mix of classics in the field, and current bestsellers. Outside of trappings, a story is pretty much a story, and people are people.

I tend to agree with this. I know most of the pulp writers bounced from genre to genre.

I think I could do most genres, at least at the short & long fiction levels. Not saying I'd particularly want to write every genre, or that I'd be good at all of them. With time though, I think I could do just about any of them. However, I thought of one subgenre that I would never, ever write.

:Soapbox:SECRET BABY ROMANCE

The most vile, flesh-crawling genre I can imagine. It's not romantic. It's the sort of stuff you can't get away with in horror novels.


Psst. YA and literary fiction aren't genres. But that's okay.

Literary fiction is a genre. It's just the genre that even the most inept of lit theorists can write a paper about without becoming dyspeptic.

Night_Writer
03-01-2012, 10:10 AM
Porn. :banana:

kuwisdelu
03-01-2012, 11:58 AM
Literary fiction is a genre. It's just the genre that even the most inept of lit theorists can write a paper about without becoming dyspeptic.

No. It's not.

Andrea_James
03-01-2012, 12:30 PM
I wouldn't touch religious with a ten-foot crucifix.

hester
03-02-2012, 01:35 AM
Romance. I've tried and the results aren't pretty :D.

The Lonely One
03-02-2012, 01:52 AM
So many. Romance, mystery, thriller, horror. But Fantasy holds a special place in my tear ducts.

The Lonely One
03-02-2012, 01:54 AM
No. It's not.

What makes you say Literary isn't a genre? Or were you responding to the ignorant insult that followed. Which, by the way, I don't get how people cut LitFic into this "past" time period (the authors articles are written about). Kind of ridiculous and insulting to contemporary litfic writers.

Shadow_Ferret
03-02-2012, 02:18 AM
I can write in any genre.

I just can't do it well.

But seriously, I can't write anything based on reality. Maybe if I'd spent some time in reality, I'd have a handle on it, but with my ADHD, I just don't pay attention enough to the real world to understand it enough to write knowledgeably about it. So anything reality-based gives me trouble: crime fiction, mystery, thrillers, romance, literary, mainstream, you name it. Seems I can only manage something in the speculative area where I can just write about the worlds in my head.

amrose
03-02-2012, 02:25 AM
Sweet romance.

Nope. Nope. Nope.

(Now that I've said that watch me do it.)

happywritermom
03-02-2012, 05:41 AM
Steampunk.
I'm clueless when it comes to steampunk.
And I can't stomach horror.

kuwisdelu
03-02-2012, 05:45 AM
What makes you say Literary isn't a genre? Or were you responding to the ignorant insult that followed. Which, by the way, I don't get how people cut LitFic into this "past" time period (the authors articles are written about). Kind of ridiculous and insulting to contemporary litfic writers.

From my blog post (http://kuwisdelu.blogspot.com/2012/02/on-literary-fiction.html) on the subject of literary fiction:


What else is literary fiction not? It's not a genre. It's a category. I often hear "literary fiction is just another genre," which is inaccurate in the same way that other categories like "YA" or "commercial" are not genres. Genres describe the content of a story. It allows the readers to form expectations about what's going to be involved in the plot or setting or characters. If it's a science fiction, you know to expect science or technology to play some sort of major role in the plot. If it's a romance, you know to expect a couple getting together with an HEA or HFN. If it's a mystery, you expect a mystery to be solved. What does "literary fiction" tell you about the content of the story? Absolutely nothing. Rather, it tells you something about the nature of the story and how it's written. Moreover, any novel which is literary fiction can also have (and probably does have) a genre. You can have a literary sci-fi story or a literary mystery. Many novels of literary fiction fall into genres that don't really have sections in bookstores, such as bildungsroman or magical realism. (By the way, when talking about "genre fiction" vs "literary genre fiction," I often used the term "straight-up genre fiction" to describe fiction which belongs to a popular genre but is not literary.) Literary is a category, and just as knowing a novel is YA tells you something about the pacing and voice, but very little about the content, knowing a novel is literary fiction tells you something about the style of the writing and on what level the story is going to take place.

horrorshowjack
03-02-2012, 06:37 AM
What makes you say Literary isn't a genre? Or were you responding to the ignorant insult that followed. Which, by the way, I don't get how people cut LitFic into this "past" time period (the authors articles are written about). Kind of ridiculous and insulting to contemporary litfic writers.

Unimaginative would have been a better word choice than inept, but I fail to see how my statement qualifies as either insulting or ignorant.

There are academic articles and essays written about contemporary work in the literary fiction genre. There are articles and essays written about contemporary work in the horror genre. There isn't any insult to contemporary literary fiction writers.

tim290280
03-02-2012, 06:54 AM
Some interesting responses.

For me, romance makes me cringe. I can write it, but it really makes me uncomfortable.

The thing I really suck at is poetry. I went through a phase in my late teens and early twenties were I wrote poetry in a spiral bound notebook. With no exceptions, it was all rubbish. I thought I was being intellectual and insightful, creating prose that was interesting and loaded with meaning. I'm glad I'm not a pretentious kid anymore.

Mr. Anonymous
03-02-2012, 06:58 AM
Thanks for all the great responses guys, I've really enjoyed reading through them.

Kuwi, I'm not sure I agree with you. I understand where you're coming from, but, I feel like the function of a genre is to categorize. Why else would we have them?

And if you're going to argue that young adult is not a genre, I don't see how you can argue that something like science fiction is.

For example, you say "If it's a science fiction, you know to expect science or technology to play some sort of major role in the plot." To me this is about as broad as saying, "If it's a young adult, you know to expect it will be written from the point of view of a young adult" or "If it's literary, you know there will be a lot of focus on character development."

For evidence of this, you have only to look at some of the works in the sci fi canon. Frankenstein. Dune. Never Let Me Go. Hunger Games. Book of the New Sun. The Island of Doctor Moreau. Fahrenheit 451. Time Traveler's Wife. Ender's Game. Spin. Etc.

Just my thoughts.

horrorshowjack
03-02-2012, 07:01 AM
What else is literary fiction not? It's not a genre. It's a category. I often hear "literary fiction is just another genre," which is inaccurate in the same way that other categories like "YA" or "commercial" are not genres. Genres describe the content of a story. It allows the readers to form expectations about what's going to be involved in the plot or setting or characters. If it's a science fiction, you know to expect science or technology to play some sort of major role in the plot. If it's a romance, you know to expect a couple getting together with an HEA or HFN. If it's a mystery, you expect a mystery to be solved. What does "literary fiction" tell you about the content of the story? Absolutely nothing. Rather, it tells you something about the nature of the story and how it's written. Moreover, any novel which is literary fiction can also have (and probably does have) a genre. You can have a literary sci-fi story or a literary mystery. Many novels of literary fiction fall into genres that don't really have sections in bookstores, such as bildungsroman or magical realism. (By the way, when talking about "genre fiction" vs "literary genre fiction," I often used the term "straight-up genre fiction" to describe fiction which belongs to a popular genre but is not literary.) Literary is a category, and just as knowing a novel is YA tells you something about the pacing and voice, but very little about the content, knowing a novel is literary fiction tells you something about the style of the writing and on what level the story is going to take place.

Using your definition, horror isn't a genre it's a category. Are you making that claim?

The Lonely One
03-02-2012, 07:15 AM
Unimaginative would have been a better word choice than inept, but I fail to see how my statement qualifies as either insulting or ignorant.

There are academic articles and essays written about contemporary work in the literary fiction genre. There are articles and essays written about contemporary work in the horror genre. There isn't any insult to contemporary literary fiction writers.

I was probably reading something into your comment that wasn't there. My apologies, jack.

Kuw (sp?) haha sorry... anyway, I see what you mean, however I think there is something about "straight literary" that sort of genrizes itself. It tends to be realistic in that it analyzes the generation of which it is a part using elements of the existing world, it tends to rely more heavily on psychological development.

Whatever it is, genre or category, or whathaveyou, it seems to all boil down to marketing categories.

I just write what I write, because I like the other authors who write it. :)

kuwisdelu
03-02-2012, 07:20 AM
Thanks for all the great responses guys, I've really enjoyed reading through them.

Kuwi, I'm not sure I agree with you. I understand where you're coming from, but, I feel like the function of a genre is to categorize. Why else would we have them?

Huh? Yes. I wasn't exactly disputing that or anything...


And if you're going to argue that young adult is not a genre, I don't see how you can argue that something like science fiction is.

I don't understand. It's generally accepted that YA isn't a genre, just like "adult fiction" isn't a genre.


For example, you say "If it's a science fiction, you know to expect science or technology to play some sort of major role in the plot." To me this is about as broad as saying, "If it's a young adult, you know to expect it will be written from the point of view of a young adult" or "If it's literary, you know there will be a lot of focus on character development."

If it doesn't make sense to you, I can't think of a better way to explain it at the moment. Knowing something is science fiction tells me quite a bit about what kind of story I'm going to be reading. Knowing something is YA or literary doesn't really tell me the same kind of things. I still don't know what genre it is.


For evidence of this, you have only to look at some of the works in the sci fi canon. Dune. Never Let Me Go. Hunger Games. Book of the New Sun. The Island of Doctor Moreau. Fahrenheit 451. Time Traveler's Wife. Ender's Game. Spin. Etc.

Just my thoughts.

Evidence of what? Yes, they are science fiction. Some of them are literary fiction, too.

And personally, I'd call Never Let Me Go more of a bildungsroman with elements of science fiction.


Using your definition, horror isn't a genre it's a category. Are you making that claim?

No, and I don't really agree. Horror tells me something about the content and purpose of the story. I know it's being told to scare me. Yes, that implies certain things about the way it will be told, but that's not the primary thing that it's meant to convey.

Anyway, all of this would probably better be debated in the Literary/Mainstream/Contemporary forum.

kuwisdelu
03-02-2012, 07:25 AM
Kuw (sp?) haha sorry... anyway, I see what you mean, however I think there is something about "straight literary" that sort of genrizes itself. It tends to be realistic in that it analyzes the generation of which it is a part using elements of the existing world, it tends to rely more heavily on psychological development.

I think pretty much all stories that people call just "literary fiction" have genres. It's just they're often not genres you'd see having their own section of a bookstore.

ETA: Also because I know what I write is called literary fiction, but I can't reconcile a description like that with what I write.


Whatever it is, genre or category, or whathaveyou, it seems to all boil down to marketing categories.

Well, yes.

I'm kind of being nitpicky. Like I hinted, when I think of "genre," I don't mean in terms of section of the bookstore. It's mostly a pet peeve of mine because I tend to refer to my works by their actual genres rather than as "literary fiction" if someone asks me what genre they are. And then they get confused.

Magical realism, surrealism, hysterical realism, tragicomedy... it's all going under the "Literature" section. But they're still distinctions that matter to me when I talk about genre... Recently, I've been looking for magical realism bildungsromans, because that's what I'm writing, but it's not as easy as walking to that section of the bookstore!

ETA: I mean, I suppose, if we really want to get vague, we could call poetry and prose separate genres, but I don't like using "genre" that loosely.

KTC
03-02-2012, 07:28 AM
Psst. YA and literary fiction aren't genres. But that's okay.

Also, dark doesn't keep it from being YA.

Yep. YA is a market. And it can be VERY dark. There was a campaign on Twitter called #YASaves (I have the t-shirt!). There are dark YA that deal with the dark issues that teens deal with.

KTC
03-02-2012, 07:30 AM
And if you're going to argue that young adult is not a genre, I don't see how you can argue that something like science fiction is.

YA as a market has young adult fiction of various genres, including Science Fiction.

The Lonely One
03-02-2012, 07:34 AM
Okay, kuwis..delu..got all the way through! :D

You've convinced me.

Someone upstream mentioned steampunk. I couldn't do that either. I don't like Victorianism or steam power. Sooo. That isn't gonna work for me.

The Lonely One
03-02-2012, 07:40 AM
ETA: I mean, I suppose, if we really want to get vague, we could call poetry and prose separate genres, but I don't like using "genre" that loosely.

I think most of the MFA programs I'm applying to refer to poetry/fic/creative non-fic as "genres" as in "your preferred genre" or "the genre to which you are applying."

I agree that can be confusing and a little too vague a term for some applications.

kuwisdelu
03-02-2012, 07:42 AM
I think most of the MFA programs I'm applying to refer to poetry/fic/creative non-fic as "genres" as in "your preferred genre" or "the genre to which you are applying."

I don't even want to think about what term they would use to describe what we call genre fiction.

Mr. Anonymous
03-02-2012, 08:21 AM
Huh? Yes. I wasn't exactly disputing that or anything...

What I was trying to say is that genre is simply a category. I don't really see a meaningful distinction between genres and categories, just like I don't see much of a difference between the categories/genres of YA and Sci Fi (in the sense that YA categorizes similarly to the way Sci Fi categorizes. To my mind, at least.)


I don't understand. It's generally accepted that YA isn't a genre, just like "adult fiction" isn't a genre.

Adult fiction isn't typically seen as a genre, but it's so much broader than YA is. I understand that YA can be in all sorts of genres--fantasy, sci fi, horror, etc. But I feel like there are certain tropes that recur in almost all YA (ie, much of YA involves some kind of coming of age.) Whereas adult in general is a lot more amorphous.


Evidence of what? Yes, they are science fiction. Some of them are literary fiction, too...

Evidence of how broad the genre of science fiction is! So broad, in fact, that it hardly tells you anything about what sort of story to expect.

But yeah, don't want to start a debate and hijack my own thread, lol. Just thought what you said was curious, is all.

kuwisdelu
03-02-2012, 08:28 AM
What I was trying to say is that genre is simply a category. I don't really see a meaningful distinction between genres and categories, just like I don't see much of a difference between the categories/genres of YA and Sci Fi.

If we use the dictionary definition of the word "category," yes, but I was referring to the term w.r.t. fiction.

If you don't see a difference, fair enough. To me, they're very different and orthogonal methods of classifying fiction. If you want to revive one of the debate/definition threads in the M/C/L subforum, I can try to explain my thoughts further there.

InfiniteDreamer
03-02-2012, 10:09 AM
Erotica. It makes me feel...icky.