Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Genre and Orson Scott Card



In one of his books on writing, How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy, Orson Scott Card talked about genre. What is fantasy and what is science fiction. People like to yammer back and forth about it. I like Orson Scott Card's take. Scifi has rivets, that's the gist of it.

Then he goes on to talk about how Science Fiction deals with the possible, though perhaps improbable.

Card goes into a scenario where the readers of different genres read the sentence, "He walked into the room mechanically."

A reader of the literary genre might be shocked and appalled to learn that person walked in with mechanical legs, and not that he was just walking in a stiff manner. The scifi reader would be disappointed if the person was not, in fact, a cyborg.

I take that as a lesson, some people aren't going to get your work. You want the target audience to get it though, so I guess that's the goal.

If you get a chance, pick up Card's books on writing. I don't know how good he is at teaching people to write but his books are good fun, informative.

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