A really interesting post on Edward Champion's Return of the Reluctant about genre bashing. It is more widely known for literary folks to be snobs when it comes to genres, but Ed has experienced it the other way around during his attendance of the Bouchercon conference this past weekend. It's interesting to me because even though I mostly read literary fiction, it's not that I'm opposed towards any genre, just the cookie cutter, formula novels which could really be in any genre. I've read many different genres in my life and enjoyed all of them. I grew up borrowing my brother's many fantasy books and loving them, though not as much as he did. I've definitely read some thriller/mystery novels that I've really enjoyed such as some James Patterson and Dean Koontz's Intensity and I enjoyed those reads immensely, often ripping through the pages with my heart pounding and I intend to get more into that particular genre because of the absolute warmth and generosity in friendship I've received from the Killer Year writers. I've become addicted to many of their blogs and find them intelligent, compassionate, interesting and often funny! I've even gotten to read some snippets from their soon-to-be released novels and have enjoyed their writing. However, I must admit, I definitely read literary fiction by far the most and the majority of the time. Is this because literary fiction is "better"? Not at all, but that's what I write, so to me every literary fiction I read is education to me and I'm just more naturally interested in reading literary fiction as I'm sure mystery writers are more inclined to read mystery novels. It's a way for me to learn and become more well versed in the genre that I write in. The more literary fiction I read the better writer of it I become as well as I can appreciate the finer intricacies of the writing than I might be able to in other genres because since I write it and understand it better, and so that is where my reading leads me. I'm not really sure where this snobbery that people talk about between the genres comes from. Literary novels can have different sorts of formulas as well and be unoriginal, as can romance and mystery, but romance and mystery get a worse rape for that formula writing. For example, an author who called himself "Nasdijj" copied Sherman Alexie's style of writing, structure and content to the extent that he was caught and called out by Alexie himself. So repetition does happen in literary fiction as well, only it's more often called plagiarism versus formula writing. So I'm not sure where this haughty taughty attitude comes from. Writing and originality are valuable in all forms and after all, isn't that what most Good literary, mystery, fantasy, romance, etc. strive for? Sure, there will always be the writers in All genres who try to copy others, find an easy formula to churn out a book to make money (though why go into Writing of all things to make easy money, you've got me), but let's give people credit, I truly believe that most writers in all genres truly love the craft and care about being original and writing good books. I respect the authors who truly try to be original and write a book that they feel is original and their own authentic work. Is one writing better than the other? Not necessarily, good writing will vary by author in any genre, there are excellent writers in the mystery genre and horrible writers in the literary genre. The whole idea of snobbery gets on my nerves and seems immature, a bullying of sorts in order to make oneself feel superior. I mean, really, can't we just all get along?
Oh, and just for fun because I Love Project Runway and couldn't Stand Vincent and think he should have been off the show the very first show when he dared put a basket on his model's head, I enjoyed laughing my ass off at this clip immensely!