Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Genre Schmenre

(That title doesn't really work, does it? Ah well...)

Interested to read on Confessions that Booker-winner John Banville turns out twenty pages of a crime book to every "literary" page he writes. Not to get into the "slumming it" debate, but perhaps this is because crime is a natural form for Banville? Maybe he feels comfortable writing it, and not constrained by the pressure to strike for whatever it is literary novels are meant to strike for. Maybe, in an parallel universe where crime fiction gets all the snobbish kudos and literary fiction is seen as slumming it, he would be doing twenty lit pages to every one of crime?

FWIW, I think it's best not to even think of genre when writing. Thinking up a premise, maybe genre comes into it. But once you're off and writing, just get your head down and do what you do.

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