Some Things I Don’t Get About the Literary World
- Erotica: It isn’t erotica itself as a genre that I don’t get. It’s popular, I can totally see why people read it. What I don’t get about erotica is why people are trying to defend it as something more than literary porn. It has a story? Okay. So does a lot of visual porn, like hentai, for one thing. Can we just get rid of this idea that erotica somehow has a higher status than porn simply because it’s the written word? There is no shame in reading erotica, but trying to elevate it above visual porn is something that I don’t get. I don’t read erotica, but I’ve seen enough bad blurbs (and god-awful covers) to know that it’s not something I want to read, and that it’s just sex, sex, story, sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, story is in here somewhere, and more sex. Maybe I just don’t get it because I don’t read it. But I have no interest in reading it because I’m the type of reader that wants to take something meaningful away from a book. I don’t read purely for entertainment, which there is nothing wrong with doing.
- New Adult: Okay, so I get its existence because college-aged kids don’t have any books for them. But I feel like all the genre is right now is sexed-up YA, which is what it’s currently being described as. Isn’t the genre something more, or is it really just all sexed-up YA romance books? Because that’s all I’m seeing in the genre so far. I see no one really trying to push the boundaries of NA and make it into something more meaningful. I suppose I could be that writer, but I’m not interested in writing college stories. They don’t appeal to me.
- Writing males and females: Why do we worry so much about how to write male and female characters? Why don’t we just write people? Not all boys fit into the stereotypical boy box, just as not all girls fit into the stereotypical girl box. In my current book, the main character is a boy, but I am not worrying about how to write him as a boy. I am worrying about writing him as a person because he is an individual with his own personality. Like I don’t get it when people write reviews about boys that read like girls. What do girls even read like? For that matter, what do boys read like? The best writers tend to not differentiate, I think.
- Brand: There is this obsession with branding authors so that authors inevitably force themselves into a box. There is nothing wrong with wanting to write only one genre, but it becomes problematic for someone like me who goes from paranormal romance to contemporary fantasy to someone who really does want to write just a contemporary book but is afraid to confuse her readers because people who stand by branding claim writing outside of genres will screw you over. Libba Bray did it. Why can’t I?
- Literary fiction: I seriously don’t get what makes a book literary and what makes a book commercial. John Green is apparently a literary author but has commercial appeal. I’ll admit I want to make my current book have more literary elements, but the more I think about it, the more I don’t quite know what I mean. I have heard that literary books have more meaning than commercial, but I have read commercial books with just as much depth. So I really don’t get it.
Is there anything you don’t get? Anything you can help me get?