What is genre?
We often describe books as belonging to different genres: this makes them easy to categorise and market. Yet this tendency limits our understanding of the stories we read. Approach a story with preconceived ideas about its genre, and one's reading experience will be transformed even if just through the influence of expectations.
While I tend to believe genres are at their most interesting when they cross into one another, I found myself writing an article delineating nine broad fiction genres for the online literary magazine Writer's Edit. How this happened remains a mystery. Granted, I threw in a few caveats about boundaries between genres being lines in shifting sands, but aside from that, the article actually examines fences instead of merely sitting on them. Who'd have guessed?
If you're curious to check out what my editors titled an 'Ultimate Guide' (bless their charitable souls) to fiction genres, you can find the article here. Have a lovely start to December.