What’s in a genre? What’s in a story?

web_noir_logo

I KNOW I WROTE about genre a day or so ago.

I’m still thinking about it. I’m still writing about it.

It confuses me and frustrates me and sometimes frightens me.

It’s the lone hook upon which all of our books hang.

Can we find the right hook?

I have come to believe there is only one genre.

So what is it?

***

A stranger rides into town.

The bad guy is running the town with an iron fist.

Everyone is afraid.

A lone beautiful woman is looking for love.

She falls in love with the stranger.

The stranger faces a crisis and a decision.

He either runs the bad guy out of town or buries him.

Is the woman worth the risk of dying?

He straps on his pistols and goes after the bad guy.

***

A stranger drives into town.

He’s in a red convertible.

A beautiful woman is in trouble.

She’s at the mercy of a tyrant.

Maybe it’s drugs.

Maybe it’s alcohol.

Maybe it’s gambling.

The reason is of no consequence.

The stranger falls in love with the woman.

He confronts the tyrant.

Only one will endure.

Is the woman worth the risk of dying?

The beautiful woman drives away with the stranger in his red convertible.

***

A stranger flies into a distant planet.

Some guy with a name like Darth Vader is in power.

Everyone fears him.

He has his eye on a beautiful woman.

She is a slave.

She has her eye on the stranger.

He looks like freedom.

Two men fight the inevitable fight.

One will live.

One will die.

Guess who flies away with the beautiful woman?

***

A stranger sneaks into Paris in the dead of night.

He’s searching for a secret.

The fate of the world depends on his success.

The world will go up in flames if he fails.

He encounters a beautiful woman.

She knows where the secret can be found.

But the evil villains hold her father prisoner.

If she helps the stranger, her father will die.

But she’s in love.

Love is stronger than fear.

The stranger rescues her father in the dead of night.

These kinds of stories work better at night.

The beautiful woman leads him to the secret.

Someone lives.

Someone dies.

The world survives.

***

And there you have it.

Four genres?

No.

There’s only one story.

So what’s the difference?

Time.

And place.

There’s only one genre.

It’s the story.

Writers should only be worried about two things.

Time.

And place.

Nothing else has ever mattered.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

  • Caleb Pirtle

    I believe an author should sit down and write the story he or she wants to tell, then figure out the genre later.

    • Darlene Jones

      I agree. The catch is that any of the vendors will demand you put your book into one of their categories and deciding which one can be harder than writing the book.

  • Nancy Hudgins

    You have such a wonderful way of explaining things where they make sense. I particularly like the ending.

    • Caleb Pirtle

      Thanks, Nancy.

  • danbloom

    Great post, loved every word! BRAVO!

    • Caleb Pirtle

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read it.

Related Posts