Monday, March 8, 2010

Justin Allen: For the Love of Pete, Don’t Mix Your Genres!

Justin Allen (author of Year of the Horse) has written an essay in three parts, published today. Here's a taste to get you started, then follow the link to read more.

For the Love of Pete, Don’t Mix Your Genres;
Or… The New York Times Book Review Hates YOU, but I Don’t;
Or… Why Where Your Book Gets Shelved Determines Your Intelligence, Work-Ethic and Value to Society


That’s a longish title I’ll admit, and while I generally don’t go in for such larded vessels, in this case I’m willing to make an exception. Monstrous though it may seem (and most assuredly is), the above title sums up pretty much everything I have to say on the subjects of writing and publishing. The first line ought to be read as a word of warning to struggling writers. The second explains - in as much as an explanation of the unintelligible is even possible - why the publishing industry behaves
as it does. And the third highlights our common enemy, which turns out to be ourselves.

Really - if I must say so myself - that title is a wonder of economy, precision and restraint. But maybe you’d like me to elaborate? Normally I’d refuse - principally on the grounds that my arguments tend to be weakened by exploration - but as I have been contracted to provide a minimum of fifteen minutes of reading diversion, I will betray myself and attempt to explain…

Why Where Your Book Gets Shelved Determines Your Intelligence, Work-Ethic and Value to Society.

Continue reading A Manifesto of Imaginative Literature

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