When having a discussion with a fellow genre writer and student of Creative Writing I was thinking about what makes me a genre writer as opposed to a literary one. While I do write literary fiction at times and do really enjoy reading some of it I still consider myself a genre writer, first and foremost. I think one factor is my weird overactive imagination. When walking a mile at a questionable time through a questionable neighborhood it’s normal to be a little nervous/scared. While I fear the normal things, y’know serial killers, stray dogs, muggers that kind of thing I’m also imagining/fearing completely off the wall things. Par Example:
I once walked a lonely stretch of road in the middle of the night with the streetlights out and all I could think was that a werewolf was going to jump out and savage me, then I would have to be hospitalized, I would start to heal pretty rapidly, then I’d be touted as a medical miracle because my huge crazy gaping wounds would heal so quickly, then I would be released from the hospital and discover I had been changed and was now a werewolf myself, I would go to all my friends and give them the option of being faster, stronger and we would become Lycanthrope freedom fighters!
Then there was the one where I was thinking, what if I was an alien life form sent here to infiltrate and select guerrilla fighters for when the alien menace that wiped out my people showed up! There would be about 15 of us world wide, the last members of our race each with a ship invisible in geosynchronous orbit. Then when the threat showed up I would beam my selected and their families on board before we could be mind-wiped. We would then start the war.
Or maybe if I was a sorcerer on the run in this dimension and I was caught while hanging out with my friends. I’d have to reveal myself and fight the bounty hunters right in front of them. Wouldn’t that put a bit of a damper on things?
(yes they’re all about me, HEY! it’s my imagination and I don’t write about myself that would be annoying and a Gary Stu. Besides I don’t write male characters very often at all.)
These are the completely random things that run through my head when I’m just walking along the street. The dying tree becomes a dying dryad spurned by a human lover. The statue that is shaped like a man is actually a man trapped by a curse and set up as a reminder by his family. That sparkle in the sky isn’t a shooting star but a fight between inter-dimensional beings over a slice of rhubarb pie!…well you get the idea.
While I don’t think this is the whole reason I’m a genre writer I do know that for the most part I’ve kept the wild imagination I had as a child and it entertains me/scares me all the time and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.