Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A Good Read and a Writing Tip about Genre

The answers Jenny seeks only lead her to more danger ... Lying in his hospital bed, Jenny's father warned that she was in danger .... now divorced, orphaned, Jenny is alone in Prague. Her only ally is the computer nerd back in New York who feeds her information via the Internet, Jenny finds the Infant of Prague, a statue that gives her visions, perhaps even answers. But those answers lead her into more and more danger.

Question:  What is the difference between a regular romance and a "category" romance? Can you define genre? 

Answer:  Usually a "category" romance is a kind of romance that comes out from a single publisher once a month. Harlequin, for instance, has a "Sweet" category and a mystery category. A lot of publishers used to put out Romance Category Lines -- Loveswept, Second Chance at Love, and so on. You will see that kind of book in racks at the grocery or drug store. They are popular, but are changed for new ones every month. 

Some people think of “genre” writing as “category” writing. But they are not always the same.

Most genre fiction is derived from classical literature. H.G. Wells wrote The TIME MACHINE and the Science Fiction genre was born. Wilke Collins wrote The MOONSTONE and the Gothic Romance became a genre. 

Today, Gothic Romance is usually defined by a "girl in danger" plot with spooky overtones. This looks, as I said, like classic suspense — a “girl in danger” story. The kind of thing that Mary Stewart and Victorial Holt used to write way back when.

Today people use a “genre” to mean “something more” it’s usually because they’re referring to it in the broader classical sense. Many times “genre” is used interchangably with “category” or “special line” which are put out so many books per month by a publisher, and essentially have a 30 day shelf-life.  

Jane Austin wrote the first regency romance. But her work has not much in common (besides time period) with today's Regency Romances. Jane Austin created a genre, but wrote socially significant material in hrer time. 

Today's category romances (think Harlequin) are sheer entertainment. 

No comments:

Post a Comment