The Breaking of Genre

I’ve enjoyed a few posts that have been written lately about the changing landscape of the publishing industry and, as I’ve commented before, the parallels with the shift in the music scene.

It’s amusing to recall one thing that stood out to me with the music industry that would appear to be inevitable for the writing world, too.

The divergence of genre.

As the corporate world lost its grip on the music industry, artists began to shake off the shackles of rigid genre bracketing that had always been a thorn in the side of most musicians.

With the demographic pop listener age continuing to slide towards a younger and younger audience as the corporations search for people unimaginative enough to buy their wares, the population of the listening audience grows ever larger for the so-called ‘Indie’ scene.

As I continue to argue, the boundaries between Indie and mainstream are blurring so much their disappearance would seem inevitable.

I used to laugh a decade ago as bands seeking a drummer would describe their genre in ever more ridiculous titles, ending up with genres as silly as ‘Post melodic hard-core punk country grunge with a touch of Irish folk’.

This still continues today, but with the availability of previews and so on, the potential audience can just listen to a bit and choose for themselves what category it might fit under, if any.

The literary world is a fairly new environment for me, but it appears that genre classification is alive and well here.

I am too new an arrival to have any valid opinion on if that may be changing or not, though I wonder if the growing Indie scene here is going to see the same thing occur.

If it isn’t and indeed doesn’t change, I may be on the outer.

When I chose to write The Highfields Saga, I did so as an artistic outlet with the hope that it may lead to me bringing some money into the household.

Maybe not via sales of the books themselves, but by giving me an avenue down which I may, yet again, learn a new craft.

After all, its failed miserably so many times before, what’s one more decade of wasted effort?

So, back to the genre thing.

The Highfields Saga is going to be hard to classify. For me, anyway.

Someone with more than a beginners knowledge may be able to slap a label on straight away, but I’m damned if I can.

There are elements of a drama, fragments of a historical novel, bits of humor throughout, car racing, a murder, racism issues, Australiana and, of course, it’s the first in a ten book saga.

One of the big elements is the application of psychological disorders on a group of people in an age where such things went largely unnoticed, let alone classified and treated.

There is no balanced flow of action, drama and events. Because life isn’t like that.

In the end, I have tried to portray life and make it entertaining.

Post melodic hard-core punk country grunge with a touch of Irish folk writing, perhaps?

To be quite honest, I’m blowed if I know.

To be even more honest, I don’t really care. My beta readers assure me of one thing; it’s a ton of fun to read.

If the reader enjoys it and I enjoyed writing it, is there any need to question further?

It’ll never be a best seller, because I don’t like rules being attached to artistic endeavor.

In the last twenty years or so I’ve seen pretty much every rule in the music scene be put against a wall and shot, resulting in a swathe of bands out there fusing every known discipline and genre together to come up with a sound that is, in the end, them.

If you ever play music with me, don’t tell me I can’t play something that way because it’s wrong; when thrown at you, drumsticks hurt.

Yes, there is still a large corporate pop scene out there for the zombies to chew on and ingest, however the crowd is getting an amazing variety of truly good music to listen to.

In the publishing industry, the revolution isn’t that far behind, as far as I can see.

What do you think? I’d love to hear from some wiser and more experienced people on this one.


2 thoughts on “The Breaking of Genre

  1. Pingback: Being The Bigger Man | William Drayman

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