This is what creative writers should be interested in doing. Writing their own best material. Not the most popular thing, or the most acclaimed... but that stuff that is unique to yourself and the complex of life experiences and interests and prior readings and environmental factors of which your writing is an emergent property. ...Abraham casts himself as GENRE. Not even as SF, but as ALL OF GENRE. And he writes a backhanded blow-off letter to all of MAINSTREAM—by which of course he doesn't even mean the mainstream (i.e., thrillers and thriller-romances) but literary fiction. In the US anyway, we may well ultimately identify literary fiction as those fictions most heavily subsidized by the state via grants, non-profit organizations, college teaching appointments in public and private universities that receive federal moneys, etc. And yet, all we can really shake our fist at is the notion that they're the cool kids?
People are routinely upset, and they don't even know what they are upset about, except that the anguish is social and shared and helps form one's readerly and, outrageously, writerly identity. We end up identifying not with our own selves, or even with what we actually like to read or write, but with list items on corporate spreadsheets.
I think you know genre fiction when you read it. My personal definition goes something like this: fiction that almost purposefully avoids the literary, in hopes of keeping the reader (or the writer, for that matter) from having to “work” too hard. It also tends to employ some stock tricks, like ending very short chapters with cliffhangers, often hopping predictably from one POV to another. Characters tend to be one-dimensional, with the kind of awkward and false-sounding dialog you’d expect.
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