Hi everyone! A friend of mine from where I started writing, Nosleep, is doing a guest post today on writing. Hope you enjoy!!
by Ashley Franz Holzmann
For The Sake Of
Genres exist to clean up the world of entertainment.
Enjoy action movies? Then you’ll enjoy this list.
Want something romantic? We absolutely know what that entails.
Chick Flick? There’s a formula for that.
A lot of creative people in this world find themselves beholden to the restrictions of genre. They write romance novel after romance novel and never explore their true creative selves.
They continue to film action movie after action movie.
They paint the same painting again and again.
What’s interesting is that some of the most respected creators of known history have stepped outside of genre and defined themselves by following their own paths.
The Freedom of Success
It should be noted that most creative people find it hard making a living doing what they love.
It’s an unfortunate reality to the world of entertainment.
Many never make the leap from creating works of art in their home to being paid full-time as an artist.
When these creative individuals do begin to be paid for their efforts, they often trap themselves, or are trapped by the industries they rise in, to stick to the formulas in which they originally found success.
I am not ignorant of this reality.
It is often the more successful artists who are given the freedom to truly express themselves.
With that said, I would like to still look at some of the more diverse creatives as an example. Genre does not need to hinder an artist, or shackle her to a creative floor.
Shakespeare famously created constantly, writing an absolutely diverse set of work that contrasted between genre, and often is more than one category of story.
MacBeth isn’t simply a story of a man and a wife. Nor is it a story of complete corruption. It’s a mystery, a ghost story, a story of a conquering hero who is also conquered.
The addition of what we would normally view as more than one genre strengthens that story.
And that’s simply an example of a single story. Many of Shakespeare’s works had variety. Some didn’t, but when compared to each other it is hard to say that, beyond poetry, Shakespeare was kept to a strict code of strict genre work. He was all genres.
Neil Gaiman is another wonderful example. His work between novels, writing english dialogue and musical interpretations for anime, and his absolutely spectacular work in children’s books, young adult work, and graphic novels expands beyond a single genre.
Stephen King is another notable figure who has consistently snuck by his audience.
Known mostly for his work in horror, King has consistently decided to break the horror genre to use his work to write about other significant aspects of human behavior that he finds interesting.
Reading work like The Green Mile shows you King’s ability to insert horror themes while maintaining a work that is mostly a period piece that dabbles in science fiction.
Thematically, The Green Mile is a story about rules, regulations, racism, society, beauty, and loss. That’s rather deep compared to the slasher variations of the horror genre.
It’s not surprising that when The Green Mile was adapted to the big screen it was praised critically.
It’s not surprising that Shakespeare has seen centuries of relevancy. Even having such an impact that much of our common slang and modern vernacular can be rooted in his inventiveness with words.
If there is one thing that I personally try to do with my writing, it’s to not think of any story too simply.
Something Stephen King has been paraphrased as stating is that a story is a story. If it’s a short story, it will evolve into a short story.
If it’s a novel, it’s a novel.
I would venture to expand upon that and say that if a story is a genre, it’s a genre, but let the story decide which direction it should go.
Don’t pigeonhole your creative self, because you never know what may come out.
You may surprise yourself.
Think of some of your favorite works.
The films you find yourself returning to. The books you’ve read more than once.
The CDs (or MP3s or YouTube playlists, I suppose) you’ve played on repeat.
Did they break molds? Are they easy to categorize or do they try to be different by simply being themselves?
I would venture to say that they are most likely so appealing because they are so unique. Not for the sake of being unique, but for the sake of existing as purely as they could be.
-Ashley Franz Holzmann
About The Author
Visit asforclass.com for more from Ashley.
His new book is available here: https://www.amazon.com/Vices-Virtues-Ashley-Franz-Holzmann-ebook/dp/B075K19P1P/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
Ashley Franz Holzmann bio:
A Boy Named Sue, named Ashley, who goes by Ash around his friends. Ashley grew up overseas on Air Force bases. He once bought a 70s VW bus so he could drive it across the country. He married his first love—they were long distance for seven years. He reads poetry constantly; believes experiences define a life, and pursuing art is the purpose behind his existence. Ashley kept all of his Legos growing up and plays with them with his three kids. He’s in the Army. He likes big dogs.
Visit asforclass.com to learn more about Ashley, or to sign up for his mailing list to receive an exclusive and free novella.
His mailing list is also the best way to learn about upcoming projects, exclusive deals, and opportunities for free advanced versions of his work.