Structure Part 7–Genre Matters (Re-blog)

Structure Part 7–Genre Matters.

A terrific synopsis, from Kristen Lamb, of genre writing is, and why it’s important to understand and choose which genre you’re going to be writing under.

Her definition of literary fiction is dead-on. An excerpt:

Literary Fiction is character driven. The importance is placed on the inner change, and the plot is the mechanism for driving that change. Literary fiction has more emphasis on prose, symbol and motif. The events that happen must drive an inner transformation.


9 thoughts on “Structure Part 7–Genre Matters (Re-blog)

  1. I’m not too much a fan of labels. I think genre is useful in trying to figure out the structure of your novel and what kinds of infomation to omit from readers. But some books aren’t so easily labeled. For instead, “The Road” which Lamb describes as literary fiction is also a post-apocalyptic novel, which is usual considered a subgenre of science fiction. And what about Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse or anything Ray Bradbury. What about “The Giver” by Lois Lowry. In fantasy, “The Wizard of Earthsea” by Ursula Le Guin is character driven, with an emphasis on prose, symbol, and motif. The protagonist most definitely undergoes an inner transformation.

  2. What Junot Diaz said about worldbuilding as not being exclusivily a scifi fantasy author’s craft: “There is almost no difference between Jane Eyre rendering her world… versus a Tolkien… Any story worth reading… or worth engaging in, or worth playing with, requires the world to be communicated efficiently and in many ways as beautifully as possible.”

    • I completely agree. I’m not fond of labels either, and I dislike having to choose a specific genre for my work. Evidenced by the books you’ve mentioned, great writing transcends the boundaries of genre labels, and that’s what I’m aspiring to, as a writer.

  3. Thanks for passing along the wonderful post from Kristen’s blog…I’m currently reading the Plot & Structure book in the Write Great Fiction series, so it helped reading her viewpoint, too.

    • I bought the series after a friend’s recommendation of one of its other books – she couldn’t say enough good things about Revision & Self-editing also by James Scott Bell. Honestly, I’m just now diving into it, so I don’t have any opinions to offer, except it was a good price for the five books (Amazon – I think $35). I got it on CD-ROM, and until the recent acquisition of my laptop, was confined to reading it at my desktop. I couldn’t stand to be cooped up to read…so I waited the two weeks for the laptop to arrive. I’m only into the first chapter, and I like the way this guy thinks. I’ll let you know my verdict…probably through Goodreads. Great site you have here. I’m anxious to read some of your shorts.

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