This week Steve and I talk about the concept of “genre”, what it actually is, what it is actually for, and why most of of the “genre rules” that get crammed down aspiring authors’ throats are nonsense. As usual our goal is to teach you how to work the system in order to Get Paid!
(edit, and I do silly voices to make fun of dumb tweets giving bad writing advice!)
Also, we are going to be doing special Q&A episodes every season, where the questions are supplied by our backers. If you are a backer and would like your questions answered on the air, please email Questions@Writerdojo.com to get on the list (unfortunately when you sign up as a backer it doesn’t give us an email list, just names, so we have to manually compile that)
If you would like to become a backer of the podcast, go here: https://anchor.fm/writerdojo
This week’s episode is sponsored by Dan Willis ‘In Plain Sight’
That’s right! We are such mercenary capitalists that we’re gonna advertise other people’s books! (if you are interested in that, use the same email above)
19 thoughts on “WriterDojo S1 Ep6: genre”
Great episode (especially Larry’s “voice” for the Twitter author. I hope Steve didn’t hurt his shoulder laughing at that too much….)
Also….Larry announced that the Grimnoir Chronicles is getting a TV show. Yay!
Daayum, if they did that right, it would be awesome.
But what are the chances? Jake Sullivan doesn’t even pretend to be Politically Correct.
My favorite Grimnoir character, and actually overall Larry character, is Faye. The first thought I have these days with any adaptation of anything I like is “I really, really, really hope they don’t F this up.”
If they get Faye right, it would be epic.
I’m not seeing Episode 6 on Spotify.
For some reason that seems to be the only platform delayed (which is weird since Anchor.fm is owned by them)
I have to say, I’m feeling pretty good to get quoted favorably alongside Orson Scott Card, L.E. Modesitt Jr., Dan Simmons, and other best-selling writers. Even if I’m mentioned anonymously.
I guess I just need to work on being a best-selling writer, now. 🙂
Thanks for the laughs and the great discussion, Larry. Brennen and I are both really enjoying the show.
I’m impressed it took you guys six episodes to make fun of George Martin. I mean who else could that voice be =)
From a writing pov. Since that is point of this podcast I’m surprised the Martin just doesn’t come out and say. Look I’m old enough to retire, I have other projects I want to do with my time and I’m shelving The Winds of Winter. I get wanting to please fans but also be honest if you don’t want to work in that world anymore.
Might be a interesting topic for a podcast when to let go of a project.
Thanks Larry for being honest. I think its a high bar all writers should live by.
Probably because he’s terrified of the fan backlash if he tells them the closest thing they’re going to get to an ending for ASOIAF is the utter dumpster fire that was the ending of the GOT tv series.
If I was going to do a voice for George I would have made it more snooty and ponderous, and added some Harrumphs every so often. And then I’d trail off and never finish the quote. 😀
Ok that one made me snort laugh
” And then I’d trail off and never finish the quote. ”
Okay, that killed me.
You’d need help to make it perfect. Have someone else on the podcast ask you every now and then if you were ever going to finish that quote, and then blow up at them.
I’m not a fan of the podcast format but I’ve been fighting through it because I enjoy these insights of the business side. (Relatedly, if you ever bother with making transcripts, I’d be all over that like This F’n Turnip on a pre-teen. Well okay, maybe not that far. ) As an aspiring hobbyist it’s good to have a counterpoint to the pretentious twits that freely share advice they aren’t actually benefiting from. Please keep up the great work so I can keep buying fun books!
If you want to tough it through another podcast format, Writers of the Future is the only other podcast that I’ve managed to listen to more than 2 episodes. They bring on some good people to cover all aspects of writing, though there’s an emphasis on short stories.
Loving it all Larry and Steve.
Hope Steve is recovering well from that surgery. How long delayed are these by the way?
You’re forcing me to bump up Hard Magic on my reading list as I will never watch a show before reading the book.
I just started listening to these and really enjoying them. Thanks for putting them on YouTube, for those of us who don’t otherwise do podcasts and so don’t use the usual podcast platforms.
I don’t know Lee Modessitt and have never met him, but I’ve become completely disillusioned with his writing. So much so that I haven’t bought one of his books in over a decade and all his books that I do own are in my box to go to the used bookstore.
I loved the Recluse books. Initially they were good, fun slightly genre-bendy fantasy novels. But I noticed they all started to end the same way: hero victorious but horribly broken. Initially, I thought this was an artifact of his magic system, but then I saw a clip of him on a writers panel talking about the hero’s journey and realized it was a completely conscious choice. And I was done with him. Partly because I was soured on that point of view, but mostly because I knew all his books were going to end the same way. He’s predictable. Ok thanks, I don’t need to read you anymore.
Fell behind on the series, but catching back up.
The bit on writers breaking promises on genre and bad endings reminds me of those stupid “SURPRISE! It was actually post-Apocalypse/Earth in the past/in a computer/part of some kid’s coma dream all along!” twists to “explain” fantastic elements. It nearly always came off as a middle finger to the audience to me and I’ve only ever seen it work ONCE, and in that instance.
1: Right from the start the characters notice the world doesn’t really make sense (the world seems to have nothing but bases and battlefields and is populated exclusively by adult humans with no families aside from the teenage girl and cat that showed up when things started happening) so it isn’t so much a “twist” as an “answer”.
2: It doesn’t come at the end of the work, just part one of the duology. Part 2 explores all the consequences and “whys” of it.
3: It’s actually in the title.
On different genres in the same setting, Star Wars EU has virtually everything short of erotica despite the setting being best known for its war, espionage and adventure works. Its had Romance (a few Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina), Mystery (Survivor’s Quest), Horror (Death Troopers), Humor (Star Wars Tales, explicitly in-universe fiction) and those are just the examples that come to mind that are focused on.
As for the chef thing, culinary is largely about the fundamental and understanding of the science (actual science, stuff like the chemistry making up ingredients) behind everything. Focus on a narrow “Cuisine” from an actual chef (not cook) is indicative of the audience imposed restrictions, limits on understanding of ingredients (“eastern” cuisine can be very dependent on some highly unique ingredients while western European ones have largely been distributed across world food), or not understanding what makes a particular dish that dish (Greg Easter notes that in his early attempts to make high end versions of standard Russian food was things like “this is very good but it is not borscht”).