Sunday, May 6, 2012

Why Choose Genre?

by Jeffe Kennedy

On the Word Whores blog, we are all writers of genre. We were semi-random about choosing the original group of seven and continued that fine tradition with replacing those that moved on. But, we all write some form of speculative fiction - science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, that kind of thing.

You could say we chose to write it.

But - and I'll be interested to hear what my fellow Whores say - but I didn't choose anything.

It chose me. And by that I mean, it rose up, seized me by the throat and refused to let go.

Speculative fiction, in all its glorious permutations, is what has always lit me up. From fairy tales to mythology to the day I picked up my first Anne McCaffrey book and discovered the joy of stories on other freaking planets, these have been the kind of stories I love to read.

Turns out they're also the stories I love to write. I don't choose what turns me on.

I mean, we're all self-confessed Word Whores here. We tell you right there on the side bar that we all started doing it out of love. That's a little whore-secret: we still do it out of love. Out of obsession. Because we can't freaking help ourselves.

If we make some money at it, that keeps us alive a little longer so we can keep doing it.

The picture above is one that the editors at Aeon Thirteen put on my very first speculative fiction story, Pearl. Which you can still buy here, should you be so inclined. It's a good story. I've gotten better since then.

But I still remember the feeling of writing it. Of letting myself write it, this non-literary, lower story life form.

Oh yeah. It was that good.

Sign me up for more.


  1. I, for one, am glad you all write what you do - lower story life forms or not. =o)

    I'm interested to see what the other Word Whores' answers are to this, too. I don't pick the genres I write either. The stories just come at me and I write them. Hell, I wasn't all that good at deciding what genre those first books were even after I wrote them. LOL

  2. Yup, you said it. I didn't choose genre. Genre chose me. And I'm awfully glad it did, because it's FUN. I like fun reading, and I like fun writing. :)

  3. I'm betting the answers will all be similar, B.E.!

    FUN is our watchword, Linda. fun Fun FUN!

  4. For years I tried to write these sprawling, multigenerational Southern family sagas because I thought I was supposed to. Then I discovered urban fantasy, and the dam just burst. I haven't looked back. I agree--we don't get to choose these things; they choose us.

  5. That's such a great story, AJ - and so true of many of us!