Saturday, January 11, 2014

Fluidity of Genre

Once an aspiring writer settles upon the final genre for a nascent story, potentiality the story might manifest within becomes more defined. If it is a mystery that is being assembled, there must be motivation & suspicions woven into the body. In order to accomplish this expansion effectively & with any hope of engaging a bright reader, it is important to understand the specifications of genre. Through understanding central characteristics which define any given literary category, the writer is able to cast imagination into a framework, if only to later re-define what has conventionally pertained to that classification.

Research is an individual choice. Some writers will read exhaustive amounts to familiarize themselves with countless examples of what they are endeavouring to create; they scope what has been defined by other successful writers. Conversely, some writers will work from the barest understanding, trusting the purity of the vacuum to guide all progress. The classical position favours the former approach, for it is by creative saturation that the original emerges, yet from either side of the dialectic, there must be a vague familiarity of themes & characteristic which define the chosen environment.

Personally, but also for the purpose of exploration, I favour the classical position. It not only accords respect to the body of work which combines to define a given genre of literature, it offers a myriad of potential riffs on what has already been so artfully established. We will all have our own preference.

There is a certain amount of detective work involved when establishing the approach to genre & the imagination is offered a host of potential varieties when designing subjective application. The genesis for any idea is often sudden & gestation for this original kernel of inspiration may either be brief or prolonged through an extended period of development. Within this incubation period, when the framework for a story is being assembled, possibility is the predominant variable. It is through the extension of potentiality that a story acquires the complexity of layers. Original inspiration rarely remains pristine — it is cross-sectioned, grafted & woven into fresh inspiration. This is the imagination spinning the intricacies of nuance & landscape.

Rhythm must be determined through influence. Arguably, the greater a familiarity with available options for capturing the essence genre, the greater the chance for compelling complexity. The world in which our story is to occur needs to be clear in the writer’s mind & as landscape unfolds, clues pertaining to fresh direction begin to emerge. Writing here, within the post-modern, digital environment often permits creative synthesis of various genres — hybrid worlds containing elements from seemingly incongruous forms are not uncommon to discover.

In creating fresh interpretation of well-known & frequently explored landscapes, the imagination is free to incorporate as it needs, so long as the story remains lucid & the generalized understanding of tone & theme sustain. There is something remarkable, something beautiful & daring in the intersection of pronounced influence. The writer who weaves & wraps a fresh approach around their unfolding work is creating from a potent position of entropic mystery.

The greater the assimilation of each influence into the cognitive readability of a manuscript, the greater the chance of the writer assisting in the expansion of the genre they have chosen to work within. It is the pioneering spirit, spurred by a desire to refine the conventional.

{Artwork by Rene Magritte}