Sunday, March 27, 2011

And the category is...?

I absolutely love awards shows. I can't wait to find out who the winner will be for "Best Comedy", "Best Drama", "Best Female Lead", "Best Male Lead", etc.

I love the way categories simplify almost everything in life...from searching for food in a grocery store to books in a library.

But, recently, I received my very first review by a bona fide reviewer! I couldn't wait to read it.

I mean 3 out of 5...not so bad for my first attempt at a short story. Which by the way is a form of writing that I am quickly falling in love with. But, as I continued to read, I thought well, this can't be about my book because it makes no sense to me...they're talking about a thriller, not my dark women's fiction piece. Not the sad story of a young woman who didn't know herself, and trusted someone she shouldn't have to guide her through a special time in her life only to be betrayed by them. But, as I continued to read, it hit me...uh, yes they are talking about your story.

Ursula K. LeGuin, a short story novelist I've enjoyed noted that on her website she dropped categories because for anything she wrote for anyone over ten they no longer seemed to fit her work.

I haven't been writing nearly as long as she has, and have nowhere near the body of work, but already I can see the genius behind what she said.

How do you feel about categories of writing. Are they beneficial or limiting?


Austin James said...

I think they have very real uses (and benefits)... especially on the marketing side, on the writing side... I could see where it could box your creativity in.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

I have a concern about the category 'they' put my work into. It is classified as a western, but it is just a story set in the west. The explanation I received that made the most sense is 'they' consider it a western because it is set west of the Mississippi River. It's because the women are stronger and have to face harder living conditions than elsewhere. After hearing this, I have accepted my stories being called westerns with a grain of salt, but have accepted them none-the-less.

Josie said...

I've never thought about category, but, of course, it makes sense, especially for marketing. It's interesting how different people can put different spins on the same piece.

Clarissa Southwick said...

I'm one of those category-challenged authors. I like to think I'm learning. It's nice to know I'm not the only one.