Because Writing and Reading Genre is Bad For You

If you haven't read it as yet, Eric Felton wrote a really silly article in The Wall Street Journal:


If you haven't read it as yet, go ahead, I can wait. ;-)  ::taps toes::

Okay, the wait is over.

I don't know about you, but this pissed me off. Whether you like literary/genre/whatever, why is there this snobbery from those who enjoy literary novels? Do they get their jollies that way? Does it make them feel better, more superior (my guess is: all of the above).

People are going to like what they like, depending on how they were brought up and a slew of other things. You like literary novels. So? I like fantasy. So? He likes gay erotica. So? Who cares?


Do readers really need to go to the Big 6 (or whatever they are now) for their jaundiced selections as to what is printable? I mean, they buy what they like and know will (probably) sell. That's why so much urban fantasy, IMHO, looks so similar. Similar book covers, similiar stories. I know, I know; it's part of that particular subgenre. But do all of the covers have to show a dark-haired chick in tight leather? (Not that there's anything wrong with that. ;-)) It would be nice for something in that subgenre to be a little different - how about a blonde-haired chick in jeans or something, lol?


And do writers really need the gatekeepers to tell them what to write? There are small niches out there that I'm sure haven't even been touched by self pubbers. NY would tell you that it's not worth their money for them to cater to such small niches; fair enough. They'd probably lose a bundle. So what's wrong with self pubbers exploiting such a niche? Why be so condescending?

I think it's fantastic that self pubbers are writing in such niches - and finding readers.

Hey, Eric, dude: How about writing that elf detective novel? Sounds like a self pub winner to me - despite what you might think.

Lighten up, and have a Weyerbacher Quad on me! :-) (Google it, and you'll see what a potent brew it really is!)


Kay Theodoratus said...

Agree so much. A lot of people need to increase their own worth by putting down others. Lace curtains, anyone?

Deb said...

I often wonder about this genre-bashing. I think you've hit the nail on the head.

I've gotten a few questions about why I'd write YA when I have such a gift for non-fiction. I honestly say there's no way to answer that question based on the faulty premises already built into it.

We don't all have the same tastes. It's what makes this world often beautiful and sometimes obnoxious.

Nancy Beck said...

Yeah - why can't everybody just like what they like and leave everybody else alone?

Can't we all get along? :-)