A few words on Horror as a Genre, Its not what I thought

I tend to read pretty much all the time it seems.

A subject which has caught my interest here lately has been genre, specifically fiction. I will admit I am interested for fairly selfish reasons but that is not the point.

I am looking hard at the genre we know as horror. I am very interested to learn that horror is not necessarily what I have always thought. I was talking to a person the other day who stated Stephen King is horror. I think she meant his writing. I thought at the time, everything? That is the perception and possibly the reality. It is not necessarily accurate but horror is where his writing is or has been marketed, so it is horror.

OK so what defines horror? In a fascinating discussion on a CreativePenn podcast they discuss horror as a good vs. evil struggle which almost always includes a supernatural element.

This is a long way from chainsaws and the gruesome kind of thing my mind has always associated with horror. They went on to mention the fine line between a supernatural thriller and horror. I find this absolutely intriguing due to my ignorance on the subject. I would not have understood the two to be that close.

Well, here is to me continuing my journey and education.

One of the bigger things I have discovered in this quest is this- genres exist for marketing almost exclusively. What is included in a genre can shift as markets shift. So they can be a little fluid over time.The common thing I have read though is the importance of knowing what it is you write and understanding how it will fit into one of the accepted genres with the following caveat- if you would like others to find and or read what you have written. This may or may not be a big deal but based on the continuous pummeling my Twitter feed takes from authors recklessly promoting books, there are plenty of us out there who want to be read.

The podcast from The Creative Penn
http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2015/05/25/horror-michaelbrent-collings/

2 comments :

Just some guy said...

Genres shuffle around like tectonic plates over the ocean of lava we call fiction. Trying to define one precisely is like trying to define where the crossover occurs between "big" and "huge," or "small" and "tiny." It's an unsorted tangled mess and as an author I think the best thing to do is pick one and run with it, making sure there are other books in the genre that somewhat resemble yours.

Riva Zmajoki said...

As a writer who likes to cross between genres I find the need to jump on just on ship unsatisfactory. But I don't worry about it for now since in English I only write Science Fiction, that is for now. Luckily in Croatian it isn't such a big deal so I have my freedom to express ;)Riva Zmajoki