I have recently gotten serious about teaching writing and this Saturday will be at the University of Central Florida book Festival and in a month I will be at the South Carolina book Festival, and at each location I will be teaching a two-hour seminar on "How to Write a Novel." I’ll refer to the blog and hope that if you are in the area can drop by.
Today kicks off a new series of blogs on writing. We're going to talk about popular or "genre" fiction. There are occasionally snarky comments tossed back between a few writers who identify themselves as, "literary" authors and those who identify themselves as a specific genre writers like a crime writer or science fiction author. I have never gotten particularly involved in the spats. I don't really care one way or the other as long as I'm writing a story I'm proud of and it's nice to have it published.
Stephen Marche of Esquire has an excellent piece on genre fiction here. The article is titled How Genre Fiction Became More Important than Literary Fiction. He makes excellent points about the needless distinction between the two. Even the comments at the bottom of the page are pretty good.
In addition, here is a response from Lee Child from a British TV show which I have borrowed from : Kristy McDermott
When people ask me what I write I almost always reply, "crime fiction." To me that most accurately describes the stories are generally write. Some might be thrillers, some might be mysteries, but they all involve crime. Even my two science fiction novels were essentially crime novels. I won't even get into the distinction between thriller and mystery. I find that I tend to read stories about the subject because I like to hear everyone's point of view. For the purposes of the upcoming blogs it doesn't matter. Just like it doesn't really matter in real life. No one cares if you're a "literary" writer, "romance" writer or "mystery" writer. As long as you're a good writer. To quote Duke Ellington, “There are two kinds of music. Good music, and the other kind.” The same can be applied to writing.
Over the next few weeks I will present guest blogs from respected writers who tend to focus on one area or "genre". Then we can let the debate begin. In the meantime, please make sure you read the Esquire article. I will be checking it like homework later.
Have a great Thursday.