Literary vs. Genre Fiction

Sometimes, it feels like genre and literary
fiction are at war. Genre fiction is accused of being shallow and mindless, while literary
fiction is blasted for being pretentious and boring. This debate has died and risen again
more times than zombies in pop culture. Shoving books into such an arbitrary binary
may seem unnecessary, but it does matter in terms of awards and public perception. If
you’ve ever taken a college-level course in creative writing, your professors might’ve
said genre stories wouldn’t be accepted, as was the case in my undergraduate years.
Among literary circles, the genre label comes with a stigma, which Neil Gaiman describes
in an interview with Kazuo Ishiguro: “By the time fantasy had its own area in
the bookshop, it was deemed inferior to mimetic, realistic fiction…I was fascinated by the
way that Terry Pratchett would, on the one hand, have people like A S Byatt going, ‘These
are real books, they’re saying important things and they are beautifully crafted,’
and on the other he would still not get any real recognition. I remember Terry saying
to me at some point, ‘You know, you can do all you want, but you put in one fucking
dragon and they call you a fantasy writer.’” As much as I hate to say it, I’d rather
be publicly caught reading certain books over others—but reading genre novels shouldn’t
be treated as a shameful guilty pleasure. In the words of Lev Grossman, author of The
Magicians: “Novels aren’t status symbols, or they
shouldn’t be. Maybe it’s the last vestiges of our Puritan heritage: if it’s not hard
work, it’s sinful. Maybe it’s just that we’re self-loathing capitalists, and anything
associated with commerce, as genre fiction is, is automatically tainted and disqualified
from having any aesthetic value.” By now, my positive bias toward genre fiction
is probably obvious. This video might as well be entitled “In Defense of Genre Fiction.”
But I do think that literary fiction gets a bad rap too, from genre writers who bristle
with defensiveness whenever the subject comes up and scoff at any book that is hard to understand.
It’s natural to feel bitter about being left out of larger conversations about contemporary
literature. Oftentimes, the harshest critics of literary fiction are those who approach
it with the same expectations as genre fiction. Plotless books that feature lengthy descriptions
are tossed aside for being pointless and slow. With these types of works, though, the objective
isn’t to keep the reader turning pages or for the writing to stay invisible. Instead,
these books ask you to slow down to appreciate an image or a poetic insight. It’s an entirely
different reading experience. Beyond public perception, the literary vs.
genre debate also holds importance in marketing. Readers often look for certain characteristics
in books, whether that be interesting worldbuilding or thought-provoking writing or both. Umbrella
labels can help you or your publisher reach the best audience for your story. It’s like
music genres: there’s a big difference between opera and rap. You might be disappointed if
you get one when you want the other because their sounds contrast drastically. It doesn’t
mean one is better than the other; they just serve different tastes. Of course, genre and
literary elements can coexist within a single work, but we’ll discuss that toward the
end. First, let’s broadly define the two terms. Some genre fiction includes fantastical elements:
fantasy, sci-fi, horror. Other subgenres might follow “paint-by-numbers” structures,
like mysteries and romances. For example, in a romance, the plot points are often familiar:
the love interests meet, their attraction grows over time, they encounter a major obstacle
and overcome it, usually ending in a Happily Ever After or tragic tears. That structural
familiarity is part of the appeal—we like variations on things we already love, whether
it’s book genres, music, or desserts. Genre fiction is also referred to as “popular”
or “commercial” fiction, suggesting that it’s more focused on widespread appeal.
However, bestsellers are those that break the mold with original world-building, plot
twists, or memorable characters—readers want to be surprised. Literary fiction, also known as “serious”
fiction, more often takes place in realistic settings. Historical fiction and family sagas
sometimes fit into this category. If there are fantastical elements, they’re more of
the magical realism variety, where unusual happenings are left unexplained, rather than
presented as a defined magic system. Stories might be more experimental in form or style.
“Contemporary fiction” is somewhat of its own category—stories set during modern
times and written for an adult audience but with less focus on language. Praise for literary novels focuses on the
quality of the prose and what the work illuminates about the human condition or society. They’re
interested in exploring complicated thematic questions like “Does everyone deserve forgiveness?”
or “How does sexuality intersect with class?” Discussions of psychology and philosophy are
at the heart of these stories. Genre fiction tackles these big questions, too, but literary
fiction relies more heavily on symbolism, metaphor, and nuance in its discussion of
these topics. Many people claim that genre fiction is plot-driven
and literary fiction is character-driven. These are sweeping generalizations. A number
of genre novels would be considered “character-driven,” and literary novels can have cinematic plots.
But there is some truth in this distinction. In fact, there seem to be three key differences
between what classifies a novel as genre or literary fiction: purpose, plot scale, and
writing style. Within the broad definitions, we can already
see a clear difference in purpose between the two classifications. Genre fiction is
treated as entertainment and literary fiction as art. Obviously, those aren’t separate
attributes; entertainment and art go hand in hand, and neither label says anything about
the quality of the work. Perhaps it would be better to say that genre
is more commercially focused and literary is less so. That is, the former is more often
treated as a business and the latter as a craft. Critics of genre fiction might say its sole
purpose is to sell books. It’s not about quality, it’s about money, which is why
so many books, YA especially, follow commercial trends. Vampires are hot? Dystopias are selling
well? Let’s flood the market with those. If you read enough books in a certain genre,
formulas emerge. In YA dystopian trilogies, there might be large-scale conspiracies, love
triangles, and a rebellion against the government. Readers expect those elements, but they can
quickly become predictable. Literary fiction claims to be less about money
and more about quality. Many authors who have won the prestigious Man Booker Prize or Pulitzer
have master’s degrees in creative writing. However, those programs have been accused
of churning out homogenous writers, resulting in a segment of literary fiction whose aesthetic
rules can feel binding, rather than freeing. As a genre, it follows its own tropes: adultery,
dysfunctional families, murder in a small town. Then, the truly original, avant-garde
styles feel inaccessible to the general public, much in the way of modern art. This disparity in purpose relates to the intended
audience. Why do readers read the type of fiction they do? It could be said that people
read genre fiction for escapism, to explore new worlds, vicariously fall in love, and
see evildoers brought to justice. Readers of genre fiction usually expect the problems
introduced at the beginning of the story to be resolved by the end.
When we crave a “beach read,” we’re looking for something easy that doesn’t
require much thought. However, the darker genre novels out there suggest readers aren’t
just looking for winsome heroes and happy endings. Morally complex characters and themes
are common across genres. It’s inaccurate to say that books in certain categories have
no value beyond entertainment. “Escapism” can be a negative label, but
Lev Grossman suggests that it allows us to better reflect on ourselves and the world
around us: “When you read genre fiction, you leave
behind the problems of reality—but only to re-encounter those problems in transfigured
form, in an unfamiliar guise, one that helps you understand them more completely, and feel
them more deeply. Genre fiction isn’t just generic pap. You don’t read it to escape
your problems, you read it to find a new way to come to terms with them.” With literary fiction, real-life problems
present themselves more directly. Writer Steven Petite says, “There is a sense of accomplishment and
fulfillment from finishing a ‘serious’ book and the most important aspect in determining
if the novel was indeed a remarkable escape not from reality, but into reality, is if
a reader reflects on the words after the last page is turned.” Literary stories may lack a definitive resolution
of the conflict, thus echoing the discomfort that comes with uncertainty in real life. Neil Gaiman suggested the opposite of reading
for pleasure is reading for improvement, and Kazuo Ishiguro agreed, saying that he does
turn to books for spiritual and intellectual nourishment—”to learn something about the
world, about people.” Some readers gravitate toward challenging books that take high effort
to consume and analyze, such as James Joyce’s Ulysses and David Foster Wallace’s Infinite
Jest. These novels are like puzzles, and it can be rewarding to uncover nuggets of wisdom
from the big picture they provide. Literary fiction aims to make us question social norms
and everyday feelings, to explore our own minds. Going back to the character-driven vs. plot-driven
idea, it seems silly to claim that any novel has absolutely no character development or
plot. What these terms really mean is that genre fiction focuses more on large-scale
drama and external conflict, while literary fiction is about small-scale drama and internal
conflict. A large-scale drama in genre fiction might entail a Big Bad—a villain the hero
must defeat. Since the threat comes from outside the hero, that’s external conflict. A genre
hero will usually face an internal conflict as well, such as a lack of confidence in their
own strength, but that’s secondary to the plot action. These stories whisk the audience
into a sequence of exciting events. In literary fiction, the small-scale drama
usually involves relationships, whether with family members or romantic partners. There
might not be an obvious villain or even an obvious plot. Instead, the conflict arises
from the emotions within the main characters and how those clash with the people around
them. In novels, the story might span across a long stretch of time, showcasing an entire
life. Imagine someone diving into your head, into the deepest parts hidden even to you,
and bringing them to light. That’s the type of in-depth character study literary authors
want to achieve. So, these two types require different ingredients
to fulfill the reader’s expectations. Generally, genre fiction is faster paced while literary
fiction is slower. Genre prefers a page-turning plot structure, and literary concentrates
on emotional nuance and authenticity. To that end, when editing a fantasy novel,
I’m more likely to emphasize the importance of the plot structure: an intriguing opening,
an exciting climax, strong chapter endings—all the delicious morsels that push the reader
to stay up all night reading. Literary novels have more freedom in how the
plot is arranged; it’s less about big, showy events and more about the quieter-but-still-significant
moments in everyday life. Instead of explosions, the climax might involve one character finally
revealing the truth to another, or even having the chance to do so and failing. The spotlight
is on exploring something about the characters’ inner lives and evoking true emotions. Beyond purpose and plot scale, to me the most
distinctive marker between the two categories is writing style. Genre fiction often uses
more accessible prose that reaches a wider audience and doesn’t distract from the story
being told. Literary fiction values carefully crafted sentences that can take more work
to understand, but they attempt to capture precise images and feelings; they are often
lyrical and layered. As writer Kate Dylan put it, “Simple, commercial prose isn’t
bad—it’s just designed to draw no attention to itself whatsoever. Literary prose is an
exercise in language—you can’t help but notice it.” This descriptor even applies
to literary authors with minimalist styles, like Raymond Carver and Ernest Hemingway—they
are conscious of how the precision of language impacts their work. There is a misconception, though, that a more
accessible writing style is less worthy of praise. As the saying goes, “Easy reading
is hard writing.” In addition, plenty of genre writers—past, present, and future—craft
sentences with flair. Let’s observe the stylistic differences
between a genre and literary novel in action. Brandon Sanderson’s high fantasy epic Mistborn
involves a heist and a magic system based on the consumption of metals. George Saunders’
Lincoln in the Bardo is an experimental novel about Abraham Lincoln’s grief over the loss
of his son and features 166 narrators. Listen to this excerpt from the first chapter
of the Mistborn audiobook: “Kelsier had heard stories.
He had heard whispers of times when once, long ago, the sun had not been red. Times
when the sky hadn’t been clogged by smoke and ash, when plants hadn’t struggled to
grow and when skaa hadn’t been slaves. Times before the Lord Ruler. Those days, however,
were nearly forgotten. Even the legends were growing vague.” The opening to Lincoln in the Bardo: “On our wedding day I was forty-six, she
was eighteen. Now, I know what you are thinking: older man (not thin, somewhat bald, lame in
one leg, teeth of wood) exercises the marital prerogative, thereby mortifying the poor young—
But that is false. That is exactly what I refused to do, you
see. On our wedding night I clumped up the stairs,
face red with drink and dance, found her arrayed in some thinnish thing an aunt had forced
her into, silk collar fluttering slightly with her quaking—and could not do it.” From those excerpts, we get the sense that
Brandon Sanderson is more interested in the world and George Saunders in the character
details, although the third- and first-person narrators contribute to that. But I find it
interesting that the two authors receive similar types of praise. Mistborn is said to turn
the genre on its head, while Lincoln in the Bardo is touted as a “thrilling new form.”
In terms of theme, they’re described as tales of love, loss, and hope. It’s easy
to see the similarities in what makes both good genre and good literary fiction: they
surprise us in some way, and they explore universal experiences. Most writers would agree that genre and literary
fiction are not mutually exclusive categories but are better viewed as a spectrum. Countless
authors toe the line between classifications, among them being David Mitchell, Margaret
Atwood, Ray Bradbury, Philip K. Dick, Susanna Clarke, and Neal Stephenson. Neil Gaiman’s
style has a more literary feel than most fantasy, too. Aforementioned literary author George
Saunders showcases sci-fi elements like love experiments in his short stories. Mary Shelley’s
classic Frankenstein is considered one of the first sci-fi novels, and dystopias like
Brave New World maintain critical acclaim. Jane Austen’s novels adhere to many romance
tropes, with themes of class woven throughout. Some say that literary and genre fiction are
blending together more and more, but my opinion echoes Lev Grossman’s: “They have their own generic identities,
their own distinct sets of conventions, and to smoosh them together would be to sacrifice
some of our precious literary biodiversity. But I’ve become very suspicious of their
arrangement in a hierarchy, one above the other.” Still, we writers can borrow elements from
both styles. Literary fiction could embrace plot and fantastical elements more openly
without it lessening the intellectual value. Genre fiction could incorporate more character
complexity and creative prose, without it decreasing the entertainment value. As readers, we don’t need to pick a side,
and as writers, we shouldn’t feel boxed into a category. There’s no point in shitting
on other people’s tastes. Write what you want to write, and strive to tell the best
story you can. The books, regardless of genre, that withstand the test of time are usually
those that push boundaries. And remember that some of the most influential
stories out there are those one might call genre fiction—because “fiction is never
real, but feelings always are.” What are your thoughts on the literary vs.
genre debate? Share them with me in the comments. Whatever you do, keep writing.

62 thoughts on “Literary vs. Genre Fiction

  1. Excellent video, thank you. One of my all-time favourite authors is Daphne du Maurier. She definitely blurred the lines between literary and popular fiction, and between different genres.

  2. I found out about this "dichotomy" just recently when I was compiling a TBR for a reading challenge of 1 book a week per theme. My initial reaction was, "Aren't all books literary?" Looks like the distinction is what would be considered literature as a work of art.
    Admittedly, I'm a bit of a snob. There's a book from my country which won 2 prestigious national literary awards but I dismissed it as genre fiction.

  3. I guess I'm not as tuned into the literary world as I thought I was. I didn't even realize this was a debate. Personally, I feel a writer shouldn't be scared to embrace the fantastical just as much as they shouldn't be afraid to let the pace break way in exchange for more powerful characters and setting. There's tons more to say than this, of course, but they all adhere to similar themes of which I just exhibited. Neither side is without complexities the other would do well to learn from. It really sucks that this is even being debated in the first place, I would've thought it self-evident that all works hold naturally inherent value. Oh well, I won't let it get to me. This too shall pass. Oh, and another sensational video by the way. I've yet to find another YouTuber as well-versed in the writing side of things, or at least in divulging it to their viewers, as you are. It is well appreciated, and I eagerly await your next video to come.

  4. Girl you make me want to kiss your voice. Brilliant narration with insightful content. Non-pretentious and at the same time immersive.
    I say: job well done👍👍

  5. Amazing video and analysis. I would say also that movies like “Arrival” and “Annihilation” (as well as their novel counterparts) are a good exemple of a genre story with a great use of literary fiction devices, such as human condition and character development.

  6. youre absolutely amazing, your voice is clear and soothing, your analysis is neither biased nor unfocused, and every topic you cover is in a perfect balance between 'listing' information and connecting them in (not too ambitious, pretentious) thought-provoking ways. im always happy when you upload a new video bc i know ill learn smth cool then, so … thank youuuuu

  7. I believe that both writing styles should blend more often. Books should feel good as you read them, as well as have a great story.

  8. It seems to me like "literary fiction" and "genre fiction" are misnomers. 'Cause, well, isn't "literary fiction" a genre of fiction? But as long as there's some understanding what the different categories are, it doesn't matter too much. We give things names to help define them and to facilitate communication. Humans are all about wanting to define and categorize things. And in art, where do we draw lines? Where can we? Distinctions in that area get blurry, which is probably related to why this video exists.

    I totally agree with you that writers should just write what they want to, regardless of genres. Don't let them box you in–unless your aim is to make a very genre-y story. I feel like genres should be descriptive, not prescriptive. I've read of distinctions between high and epic fantasy, and that doesn't at all affect how I write anything. It's just a label I can slap on to describe what I'm doing to others.

    Mildly unrelated: I read The Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway some years ago, and it changed me fundamentally. The minimalism of his writing was intoxicating. It sent me on a path pursuing elegance in my own writing: saying the most with the least. I made a huge stride in my efforts right before I fell out of touch with writing… The prologue for "War for the Sun" (which I am reconsidering the prologue status of) remains my greatest achievement. I wonder if I'll ever be able to write like that again.

  9. I laughed when you said 'pointless and slow' and showed a picture of a lighthouse. I see what you did there :p

  10. I didn't even know there was such a vivid debate but I was aware of it due to some college-level creative writing.

    For myself, I love classic children's literature and I'm a huge fan of Alice in Wonderland. And the Alice books are probably on the fence of literary vs genre

    It's so well known that virtually everyone could give me a few "quotes" from Alice-related media. It's so classic and a game-changer that children's literature can almost be divided between before-and-after Alice. It's so accessible and the wonder is so relatable. For some reason, readers "get" Alice.

    Yet, at the same time, Alice is so random and episodic that you can basically randomize the chapters and it's mostly the same kind of story. Some of the original lines are so linguistically complex that you'd need like a postgraduate degree in logic to understand them on the first read. For some reason, readers don't "get" Alice.

    Anyway, at the end of the day, as long as writers are happy writing, and readers are happy reading, then we all should be happy 😀

  11. I am a staunch Genre reader and writer, I won't say it's better than Literary fiction, but I will say it's better for me and my taste. To each their own, always.

  12. Thank you for finally answering my internal doubts about the genre of my book. I have written a literary novel. Back to the agents I go… Deciding on genre is a dark art!

  13. It wasn’t until I began to write myself — I write for middle grade and Young teens that I even knew of this peculiar argument slash debate over literary and genre writing.

    I grew up reading a combination of literary, crime, and horror fiction. To me literary fiction wasn’t difficult or weird, it was just fiction and something that appealed to me as a reader. The same applied to the horror & crime fiction I read. They all touched on themes and ideas I wanted to read about. To be honest I am grateful to how ignorant I was in my teens of this facile neurosis.

    Today I find it odd and downright insulting that I’m suppose to pat myself on the back for having read (and enjoyed) literary fiction. To quote Oscar Wilde, writing is either good or bad — And for me, this has always applied across the board.

  14. So… I guesssssss…. My works are mostly… Literary fiction masquerading as Genre fiction?

    I don't feel comfortable labeling things… Neither my own nor other people's.

  15. Differentiation between the two is all snobbery to me.
    Sometimes you just love to read a book for entertainment without the feeling of self-importance, whatever the hell the book is.

  16. I've found that literary novels or more precisely novels deemed to be literary are different enough from works we consider genre fiction to warrant the status of the argument that we can effectively establish a dichotomy between the two. Genre fiction for me can give me a buzz after reading but it's short term. It feels great but the feeling is ephemeral and the genre fiction I've read just doesn't have the oomph to make me want to think about it long term. However, the fiction we classify as literary has given me exactly the opposite feeling, antithetically so. The feelings are longer lasting, the work seems more pertinent and wide-reaching and I think about them for a longer period of time, constantly in some cases. The key thing though is the buzz remains regardless so this is why I like literary fiction more and why I believe the dichotomy is a useful heuristic tool.

  17. Thanks for this video, everything I read about this debate doesnt make any sense to me as naming books off doesnt teach me shit lol This was very well put and wasnt choosing a side(which is rare in our day and age)

    This has gone a long way to help me finish this assignment, thank you!

  18. One often ignored thing about being into literary fiction is that you tend to acquire certain standards in regards to the quality of prose, density and originality of ideas, etc. that actually make a lot of genre fiction hard to read. I can still read Pratchett, for example, but someone like Karpyshin is off the table at this point.

  19. When you read all of these literary magazines you see stories that are absolutely beautifully written…but BORING BORING BORING! Many of these award winning or Pushcart winning stories are BORING BORING BORING!

  20. The problem, it seems, is that people seem less able to discern the difference between genre and artistic fiction nowadays. The ballyhoo over J. K. Rowling and Cormac McCarthy might be examples of the confusion.

  21. I've just begun stepping into the literacy realm seriously for the first time and I have to say your consistency and execution on this topic invaluable to me and the writing and art community.

  22. Interestingly Gothic Fiction (before the cousin, Paranormal Romance) came about, it seems like that was one of those kinds of fiction that was both Literary and Genre at the same time.

    And you have authors like Edgar Allen Poe, one of my favorites, where even though he's most known for his Gothic fiction, has apparently wrote some spectacular Science Fiction as well.

    While I love Literary Fiction, I find that increasingly, with the more technologicaly advanced we become, the less of a relevant distinction between Literary Fiction and Science Fiction is in practice.

  23. Based on many comments I have heard from many sources (RE: "Identify the genre selling location of your novel in the bookstore so as to better introduce your work to a potential Literary Agent") I suspect that "Genre" identification is a shortcut used to lubricate the gears of publication machinery. It's simply not good enough to say, "Here is my work – read and critique it." Few people have the time to read and evaluate. We must winnow out the chaff and permit the remaining seeds to contend for superiority. How does the unknown literary genius get her work before potential publishers? Few are geniuses, of course, but how many are being overlooked, I wonder? The "Genre vs Literary" discussion is certainly useful in some contexts, but I hope none of us miss wonderful writing because our expectations are unduly influencing our reading choices.

  24. I've totally had a literary fiction person tell me that Erikson's Deadhouse Gates was 'one of those books'. I tried to defend its premise before I gave up. He wasn't going to change his mind because of what I said.

  25. Your final comment is one of the main reasons I write… Fiction is never real but feelings are. After listening to this discussion, I feel as though I understand more about myself. While I naively placed my writing preferences firmly in the romantic fiction genre, I feel like my desire to dive deep into character thoughts and their emotional experiences leads me to embrace literary elements. It does indeed feel like a spectrum, and while I agree that we should write the most compelling story we can, the place where understanding where we lay on this spectrum as authors is in discovery. As a relatively new author (with two self-published novels that are probably 60% genre and 40% literary (if that's possible to assign), knowing where to find readers who are willing to take a chance on you and your style seems to be tightly tied to how you present your book (in terms of cover, blurb, and perhaps most importantly, categories). Do you agree, and do you have any recommendations on how to navigate these uncertain waters? Side note: This video alone has earned a subscribe and notification from one intrigued and interested author who still doesn't know whether he's genre or literary, probably both 😉

  26. I dislike books that shoehorn themselves into a certain genre with all its tired tropes. I also dislike literary books because they feel too pretentious (and they're boring). A good book must be entertaining, compelling, and get you to look at life from a new angle.

  27. The prejudice against genre fiction may be disappearing. My MFA workshop classes accept genre fiction and we have specific classes on science fiction, romance, and magical realism.

  28. Okay, so, first I thought, maybe my current project is dipping its toes into literary fiction because there's a philosophical topic that keeps coming up and strongly influencing the self-perception of one of my main characters. Now I think maybe it's 100% literary fiction because it doesn't actually have a plot outside of the emotional development that happens while my three characters interact with each other. I'm confused.

  29. I just think the fact that some people are so snobbish, as to ignore genre fiction due to it being 'Mindless' is ridiculous.
    entertainment is entertainment. Not everything needs to be fine art.

  30. The more I think about the characteristics of the two categories you presented, the more I realize that the Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe is literary fiction with SF tropes instead of SF.

  31. Oh but Pratchett, you put more fantastical things than just a dragon in your books! I suppose, in a similar vein, all a book needs is age and an audience to be considered a classic? And with just one professor's say so it's considered classic literature.

  32. This is the same thing as the Thomas Crowne Affair (the remake, not the Jewison version); value in art is determined by the elite few, which turns out, is incapable of distinguishing real art from fake art in the end. It is all in the eye of the beholder; I find as much value and entertainment in Stephen King's "It" (which was a relief to finish reading) than in Tolstoy's "War and Peace."

  33. If you were to create catagories for different elements or aspects of writing, and then score each one, litterary fiction would almost always come out far bellow fantasy and scifi. Fantasy and Sci-fi contain all of the element lit does, but they also contain more, many catagories where lit would get zeros. In the case of sci fi, it is often dealing with cutting edge philosophy and ethics of a changing world across the whole of society, while lit fic is dealing often with social drama that these characters should have dealt with in jr high, but they someone became adults that still haven't dealt with it. Yes, they both have their place, and I love words and language for their own sake. But, take Gatsby for example, I love the book, but if someone thinks that a story of a bunch of people with questionably morality who treat eacher like crap is 'higher' than a sci-fi book which is dealing with the ethic of altering genetics, or using ai-based algos to accuse people of pre-crime, then that person is wrong. There is simply no objective way to claim that something like Gatsby is higher than Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, or even the Blade Runner script.

  34. Thank you for this video. You have the most wonderful way of explaining and the editing and your voice are both so clear and absorbing. I am trying to hard to fit my recently completed novel into a category and it is ridiculously confusing with so many genres and sub -genres never mind trying to decide if is it genre or literary. On the one hand I don't feel qualified to describe my writing as traditionally literary – it isn't completely full of highfalutin prose and high brow thinking. But, on the other hand, it seems more character driven than fast paced plot so not typically genre fiction either. Now I can see that there is a spectrum as you've said and although I'm still a little confused on how best to categorise my own particular story I do see that it can still be character driven but fit into genre fiction – thank you so much!

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