As I read about the new Pope, I thought how genres were like religions. First, say, you have fantasy, with elves and dwarves, and good wizards and evil dragons. So it is, and so it shall ever be. And then a fantasy story is written whose hero is a beggar and a thief, and there’s a little sex, and no elves or dwarves. Heresy! Thou art not a fantasy writer. Until people start reading it – and lo! From this schism a new genre is born. Now there is High Fantasy and Low Fantasy. And then Dark Fantasy and Light Fantasy. Also Romance and Historical Romance and Erotic Romance; Legal Suspense and Romantic Suspense.
On and on. Genres keep splitting like a river with endless forks. Indeed, imagine all genres flowing from the same great River of Story with its mighty Beginning, Middle, and End. The same waters course left into literature, right into commercial, splitting again and then again and then again as new tributaries are discovered.
If you were to fly above this scene the streams would be so many, the land so blue with water, it might be hard to tell where one genre began and another ended. Still, all those stories flowing seaward, crooked or straight, flowing toward their end where all stories are joined again in the same great pool thought.
Write Within Yourself: An Author's Companion. "A book to keep nearby whenever your writer's spirit needs feeding." Deb Caletti.