literary

Genre Reading: Is “Escapism” a Bad Thing?

April 18, 2017 For Readers
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Certain types of reading are sometimes valued more than others. One descriptive term that’s often used as a put-down for genre stories is escapism, but is romance or any other genre story really “escapism”? What does that mean? Is escapism a “bad” thing, and if so, why?

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Strengthen Your Writing with Rhetorical Devices

June 30, 2016 Writing Stuff
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If you’re anything like me, and your English or grammar instruction was less than ideal, you might not be familiar with the term rhetorical devices. But once I did learn about them, I quickly became aware of how using rhetorical devices can strengthen our writing—even if we’re writing genre stories.

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Plot Obstacles & Character Agency

May 17, 2016 Writing Stuff
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Ashley asked a question in the comments last week that gets at the heart of strong, proactive characters. Even in literary fiction, characters are usually faced with making choices, and whatever triggers those choices is where we’ll find plot and character agency.

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Can Genre Fiction Be “Art”?

April 17, 2014 For Readers
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We have a hard time defining literary fiction. Society gives us assumptions on the relative value of genre vs. literary fiction, but those assumptions miss the point. Assigning value judgments to the labels “literary” and “genre” doesn’t make sense because preferences are subjective opinions and there’s no “better” or “worse.”

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Literary vs. Genre Fiction: Which Do You Prefer?

April 15, 2014 For Readers
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Reading is subjective. The stories some of us hate, others love. Personally, I have no interest in non-genre stories. This is not a sign of my inability to think deeply, but rather a personal preference. Mary Buckham’s ideas about the differences between literary and commercial fiction made me wonder about this preference.

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Rediscovering Our Love of Reading

April 10, 2014 For Readers
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Too many kids who were voracious readers earlier in their life learn to hate reading during their teenage years. According to a post on Writer Unboxed, one third of high school graduates won’t read another book—for the rest of their lives. For too many, reading becomes a means to an end. Absorbing knowledge. Period. And reading for pleasure now seems like a faraway dream.

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What Are You Looking for in Your Reading Choices?

January 9, 2014 For Readers
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Last time, we talked about our reading habits and whether the price of an ebook affects its ranking in our to-be-read pile. (If you haven’t answered the polls with your answers to that question yet, please check out that post.) Today we’ll continue the reading-habits theme with two other issues that relate to reader expectations. […]

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Does Your Writing Have Rhythm?

November 5, 2013 Writing Stuff
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We’re probably all familiar with the idea that poetry, music, and song lyrics can have rhythm. But prose writing—our normal, everyday writing with sentences and paragraphs rather than lines, stanzas, and verses—can have a rhythm too. I’d occasionally heard a rhythm in my head while reading stories but never paid much attention. Several years ago, when I […]

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Are Genre Stories More Stupid?

August 8, 2013 For Readers
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I make no secret of the fact that I’m a genre girl. I prefer genre stories (of almost any genre) over most literary fiction. Ditto for movies. Give me an action, sci-fi, comic book, or adventure story, and I’ll be there buying tickets. Even for the cheesy ones like Green Lantern. (Though I’ll promptly make […]

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Who Cares about Quality Writing Anymore?

March 13, 2012 Writing Stuff
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No, that’s not a rhetorical or trick question.  Recent events in the publishing industry have left me asking that as a serious point of confusion and discouragement. I know this is an ongoing complaint about the state of literature.  Over a century ago, people complained about penny dreadfuls and dime novels, and then moved on to complaints […]

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