Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Genre Reconsidered ~ Reader-Driven Fiction


I was in a hangout with Eric Dorsett tonight on Google Plus.

I felt inspired to ask him what I should blog about and he said, “Genre.”.

Some of you may have noticed the strange punctuation at the end of that last sentence.

That’s the way the maverick in me wants it to look and that brings me to what I want to say about genre; right after I mention three previous posts

Do You Write For The Reader or Should You Write For Yourself?, What Is A Genre & Should You Try To Write In One?, and  Genre, Genre, Who’s Got The Genre ? :-)

At the end of that last post, I wrote: “So the question of whether a writer should try to write in a particular genre could become completely moot. What matters most is good writing, creative writing; even writing that pushes hard against genres and rules and conventions–steps up to the literary plate and belts one out of the authorial park :-)

So back to that maverick streak in me with a few questions for you:

Do you think the wave of self-publishing, which seems to be promising the reader more say in what gets published, could lead to readers “shaping” the whole concept of genre and driving a transformation of what genre means?

Can readers inform authors in such a way that they write in “new” “genres”?

Will the increased interaction between writer and reader being facilitated by social media eventually make “genre” a useless concept when judging a book?

Is it conceivable that the reading public could select books based on plot characteristics or character interactions or theme arcs?

Do some readers do that now?

Should more readers demand that authors forget about genre and write what the unique combination of theme, plot, and character demands of their creativity?

Am I a hopeless dreamer?

Do you have answers for any of these questions??
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8 responses to “Genre Reconsidered ~ Reader-Driven Fiction

  1. dandilyon July 28, 2011 at 5:33 am

    I am such a bad person to discuss genre… I didn’t know that my book was “paranormal” until the reviewers labeled it as such. I understand using genre as a label to describe things so you can identify it as something you may or may not like. If I see something called a love story, I’ll probably avoid it. If I see it identified as a ghost story I’ll be interested. All the lables we have now i think are over the top… I actually saw the other day a list of genres that read “paranormal love story, paranormal mystery, paranormal romance mystery…” Holy crap I thought…. that’s like seeing a literary strip tease with no tease. Just dump the whole naked thing on my lap without even a hello!

    I think labels are over rated… they are a great tool, but you are we in love with the house or the hammer?

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai July 28, 2011 at 6:21 am

      in love with the house or the hammer

      Whoot !!

      Seems everything about books is transforming, eh?

      Like

  2. Haley Whitehall July 29, 2011 at 5:32 am

    Another thought provoking post, Alexander.
    I believe the increased interaction between writer and reader will shape publishing in general. Readers will voice their opinion of what they want to read and savvy writers will write it. I do believe that what is considered cross-genre now might become its own genre in the future. I’m still championing historical fantasy :)

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai July 29, 2011 at 5:37 am

      Well, Haley, I hope folks don’t think I was “against” genres

      I just feel the whole genre-concept is “opening-up”, “expanding”, and readers are driving it

      Like

      • Haley Whitehall July 30, 2011 at 3:41 am

        I never got the impression that you were against genres. I do hope the genre concept is expanding. I don’t like my writing put in a box. Boxes are so confining!

        Like

        • Alexander M Zoltai July 30, 2011 at 5:23 am

          Absolutely, Haley, like with your historical “genre”; which I’m sure is expanding the traditional concepts of what historical fiction is, right?

          Like

  3. Pingback: Genre-Bending Writing | Ramblings of a Misguided Blonde

  4. Pingback: Is Genre The Best Way To Pick A Book? | Notes from An Alien

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