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Genre, Writing, Writing Craft

The Problem with Genre

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There is a window in my life. I´m standing on one side of it – thats today. On the other side I have yesterday. I´m standing here today, looking back at the days that passed through my life, all the things that happened. I can walk through that window back and forward as I whish, while I explore the reality.

Then I start to write about it, and soon I lose control. Yesterday becomes today, and maybe today never even existed. I´m looking through that window asking myself on what side I´m standing. The reality becomes my reality. My window is as the sharpest knife, and I´m standing at the edge of that knife, the edge of reality. What´s true and what´s false? What´s a fantasy and what´s reality? Do things really exist when we don´t look at them, or are they just a creation of our fantasies?

That´s how I write my pieces, my stories. If it is a story. Maybe I´m just writing the truth about everything. Maybe life is a story. Maybe it´s all the same thing, divided by our own confused minds. Why do we always have to categorize things? Truth, fantasy, horror, novel, right, left and straight forward!

I find it very exiting and satisfying to keep my writing at that edge, always asking the hard question without ever giving any answers – making people think. Think, think, think!
What genre is that?

I think we´re missing the point of everything when looking at the things that are.The genres that are, for example. If we look at the things in-between what are and what has been, we will find something very interesting, some kind of truth. That´s what I´m looking for when writing.

Discussion: Is there a window in you writing that lets you jump between genres, braking rules? When you write, do you usually think of the genre or do you just write letting someone else put it in a genre if they wish? In what genre do you usually write? If you could create an new genre; what would you call it and what kind of stories would it cover? In what genre do you never write? Why not?


About Magdalena Wiklund

Leg. biomedicinsk analytiker och maker. Arbetar med transfusionsmedicin till vardags, forskar på antibiotikaresistens på fritiden. Jag skapade Sveriges största site för biomedicinska analytiker därför att detta verkligen är ett fantastiskt yrke som jag hoppas att fler ska intressera sig för.


3 thoughts on “The Problem with Genre

  1. I seem to only write Horror or Urban Fantasy. It is not like i don’t get idea’s for High Fantasy or Sci-Fi but they never get beyond the first birth pains. I know what sort of genre the story is set in by the world it takes place in – even when they are both modern day there is a subtle difference between UF and H. I tried romance once – formulaic Standard romance ….I i must say I’ll never do that again for everyone’s safety and sanity.

    Posted by rmridley | January 11, 2012, 7:33 pm
    • Rimridley,
      Thanks for you feedback on the issue of genre. You are really fun, was writing romance really that bad??? *LOL* I have heard about fantasy before, but what is urban fantasy? Is that some kind of mixture between fantasy and sic-fiction?

      Posted by Magdalena Wiklund | January 11, 2012, 7:42 pm
      • Oh the romance really was – bought three books (from the big name in romance) and studied them, broke them down, charted out how and when things occurred by chapter, and finally wrote…a disaster! My wife read it and agreed – never do that again.
        Urban Fantasy has become a large catch all term lately – anything set in modern day that has a paranormal setting, including vampires (Twilight could be placed under the heading) But originally it was more about everyday lives and places but there was magic or faries or such. It was usually just a small subset of the world who even knew it was there,it was a secret from the masses and influenced things often very subtly.
        As far as I (and most of the world) is concerned, Charles di Lint is the godfather of the genre. Check him out someday.

        Posted by rmridley | January 11, 2012, 8:01 pm

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