On Genre Fiction being the Scum of the Literary World

Why do you read books?

I mean seriously. Why bother? Its paper, ink and made up people and places and mostly none of it is true.

 

So WHY

Do You

READ BOOKS.

 

Stories. People like stories. They’re fun. They’re an escape. They teach us something, even if we don’t consciously realize it. Stories help you understand yourself better, as you decide what you think and feel because of everything you just read. Or you have parents that beat you and stories give you a place to live that’s safe from your reality. Or you simply have your head in the clouds and love the adrenaline rush of being someone else inside your head.

 

What KIND

Of Books

Do You Read.

 

Anything? Everything? A specific genre? A few different genres?

I know you’re supposed to have read books in school, mostly literary novels. You most likely hated them, hated having to read them. I know you’ve probably read the dictionary, at least one word on one page, if you’re my generation. Younger and you might have simply googled what the word meant, but hey – it’s still a dictionary. I know you’ve read fluff pieces on or in a magazine whether it’s on the internet or in the grocery store line that never ends. I know you’ve probably read your children’s crazy words if you have kids. I know you’ve read your own inner monologue if you keep a journal.

The list goes on.

 

What Type

Of Books

Are All of Those.

 

Literary, nonfiction, cozies, informational, fictitious, stream of consciousness.

Is one of those BETTER than the other? Did any of them AFFECT you more? Did you end up LOVING one of those and now you search out that kind of writing, essays and books everywhere you go? When you’re in the store for diapers or canned soup, do you check the book racks to see if there’s anything good? Do you wander around the used bookstore? Wonder if your sister, children, mom or best friend read, and if so, what?

 

Which

Books

MATTER.

 

All of them.

End of story.

But because this is real life and real people are contradictory, let me explain.

 

Apparently

I Write the

Scum of the Earth

Why? Because I don’t write non-fiction or literary novels. I write fiction. Fantasy, horror, paranormal. Dear cookies in heaven, I’m the devil!

 

There’s this

Theory

 

It’s an opinion really.

That all genre fiction (for example, what I write and romance, adventure, etc) is scum. It is pointless. Shouldn’t be read. There are snobs who turn their noses up at it and declare the writer of such garbage a freeloading brat who needs to get a real job, while the literary author gets to work and does something real, something important.

 

WHY?

the-reader

 

I have no idea. Maybe it’s one of those things where young people turn their noses up at old people, saying they’re better. And old people look down on young people, saying they’re ignorant idiots with easy lives. People apparently aren’t happy with themselves and need a “reason” to put others down, elevating themselves. In their head only, that is.

Regardless of where I go, all I hear about is people deciding they’re better than other people.

When really, we’re all just opinionated. We have opinions. We have likes.

I like books.

Do I care what kind of books you read?

NO! No a million times over. As long as you enjoy books, I’m a happy camper. And if you don’t like books, well that sucks and you’re missing out but hey, that’s you and I’m me.

 

See How that Works?

 

Honestly, I’d like for people to get over their selfish snobbery and pull their heads out of where the sun don’t shine.

 

GET OVER YOURSELVES.

Everyone.

Right now.

 

I like what I like. You like what you like. The garbage man down the street likes what he likes. The kindergarten teacher, too.

 

Does that make me stupid?

 

No.

Does that make the literary writer stupid? The suspense novelist stupid?

NO!

 

Writing a book

IS HARD!!!

 

I cannot stress this enough. I don’t care if you’re writing for professors, chemical engineers, third graders or the mom who has five minute breaks every couple of hours. WRITING THE FREAKING BOOK TAKES WORK. Hard work. Hours every day, just like a “real” job.

 

Genre Fiction

Is NOT

Scum

Literary Fiction

Is NOT

Snobbery

 

One bad apple does NOT ruin the whole bunch.

So knock it off.

I should be able to take a creative writing course in college and not have a professor look down on me, belittle my work and call it scum because the monsters aren’t 100% human.

But I can’t, now can I?

Because apparently, genre fiction is the scum of the literary world.

Now how

DUMB

does that sound?

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10 Comments

Filed under The Odd Bit

10 responses to “On Genre Fiction being the Scum of the Literary World

  1. Many people I know look down on me for reading and writing supernatural/horror genre fiction. They say, “You like that stuff? I don’t like to read something unless it’s real.” What they mean is they like fiction set in the safe, normal, “real” world. But what they don’t acknowledge is that it is still fiction. I’m sorry, but it’s NOT real. That is what makes it great. Because the parts that really matter help us learn about human nature. So whether that character is walking the bridges of Madison County or is facing down a demon, we can all learn something about the human condition.

    Sorry I got preachy there for a minute.

  2. Pingback: Top Picks Thursday 09-18-2014 | The Author Chronicles

  3. Anyone who thinks that mystery writing (what I do) is not work has never sat down to plot out a story in which something happens with no explanation and then people spend 300 pages trying methodically to figure it out, and when the explanation is given it is a surprise, but also makes sense. And every weird thing that happened that didn’t makes sense at the time is tied up in one short final chapter, The end. Try it some time, literary fiction writers.

  4. Well put! I hate this distinction, too. Literary and genre can both learn from each other, too.

  5. I know it may be difficult, but you’ve got to tune those folks out. Don’t even acknowledge them. I don’t mind being called scum…as long as I have people like you to share the pain with! 😉

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