Forget genres. The story is king.

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A WEEK OR SO AGO, I wrote about my frustration with trying to figure out genres.

I wrote the following:

WRITERS THESE DAYS are trapped in a quagmire of genres, and the genres keep changing all the time. I came from a time when we simply had mysteries, romances, westerns, fantasy, historical, literary, and science fiction, And into the fray come such genres as steampunk, urban fantasy, and speculative fiction.

All most of us want to do is tell stories, and we don’t worry about being tied up by a specific genre. Yet, the booksellers want to pack our words away in certain little cubbyholes. Did you write a mystery, a thriller, a police procedural, an action adventure, a caper, a cozy mystery, romantic suspense, legal thriller, medical thriller, crime novel, detective novel, private eye novel, or do you use an amateur sleuth?

Does it really matter?

Woelf Dietrich
Woelf Dietrich

A good friend and excellent novelist Woelf Dietrich weighed in with some comments on his own.

I thought they had merit.

I’d like to share them with you.

He wrote:

I thought I knew in what genre I wanted to write but when you write it doesn’t matter. When I started getting serious I began a fantasy series, but midway into it I got an idea for an urban fantasy that I felt needed to be written, but I didn’t like the boundaries for urban fantasy, but then I thought, “Oh, screw it! I’m writing the story I want and we’ll see where it takes me.” That was the birth of Guardians of the Seals with ancient roots and otherworldly activities in a modern world setting where time is relative.

I still like various genres, including pulp and noir, and modern thrillers, and fantasy–specifically heroic fantasy, but I’ve found that story is king. I’ll read anything if the story interests me.

I think I want to be that kind of writer, too. But it might be too early to say. I love fantasy and supernatural things and I suppose its good to have a brand, but then you stifle creativity and limit your story. You need to allow the story to breath and grow and not be hampered by labels.

That’s how Bullies got born.

By accident.

 

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