Wednesday, April 27

The Genre Problem

When I tell people that I write stories, the invariable question that follows is: oh yes, what genre? Now I don't know about you, but I find this a really tricky question to answer. Good books have so many threads and themes and instances in them it's often very difficult to classify them into one genre or another.

Let's take the Harry Potter books, for instance. Purely because most people have read the books, or at least watched the films. They're fantasy, of course. But it's a different type of fantasy from, say, 'The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe', isn't it? Okay, so they fall into the 'magic' genre of fantasy, because it's not a whole new world like Narnia is. Following me so far?

Next, I always think things like: yes, but it's adventure too. And romance. And comedy.

And the next question is: how many genres can a book fit into? Because, thinking about it, you could keep defining what's in a book from now until the end of the world.

Get my problem? So when people ask me what kind of genres I like to write, it's doubly difficult. My first problem is: how do I define what I write into a genre? And my second is: but I write so many different things! Charlie Broker - she's comedy, as I'm sure you'll agree with me. But then there's 'The Lady Beatrix', which is fantasy and romance and adventure. And 'The House of Make Believe', which is historical and romance. And 'Letters to Davey', which is romance.

I suppose the only really common theme is romance. Which makes me sound rather wet and drippy...

Sigh. Ah, well. I suppose I'll just have to go and write paranormal romances like the entire rest of the writing world, it seems... Or maybe not. I'm not sure I can bring myself to do such a thing!!

~West x
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