Categorize this!

Can you say a word or two, Miss Snark, about the increased carving up of literary fiction into smaller genres. I've recently seen "soupcon de scifi," and "motorcycle fiction" and "hick lit" referred to in various writer's magazines.

I kinda like "hick lit". Would that be like Huckleberry Finn, ya think? Maybe Deliverence. Cause yanno, they gotta be called something catchy to separate them from all that other ...uh...lit.

This sounds like movie talk. Variety is famous for short descriptions of movie types. "Chix Pix Climb Stix" for date movies that are doing well in Dubuque kind of headline.

And I wouldn't pay much attention to writer's magazines as a source of information on the trade. In fact, I wouldn't pay much attention to them at all. Have you seen Lee Goldberg on the subject of Writers Digest.
I love that guy. He's exactly right.


Dhewco said...

I'm sorry,

I've found many a helpful article in Writer's Digest. Jenna Glatzer, JA Konrath, James Scott Bell, and Nancy Kress are some of the good writers who supply material for them. Those are good, talented artists and you cannot claim they're shills for scams.

I don't even pay attention to the ads, I barely look in their direction when I read WD. If you're smart, you can research what POD and vanity really means. I never believe one source for anything, whether it's a blog or magazine.

Believing any advertisement is all time stupid, IMO.


Jo Bourne said...

Long time back, I leafed through a couple copies of WD in the library.

'Babystep writing advice,' I said to meself. 'Vanity press ads. Dicey agent ads. This is for hobbyists and suckers.'
And I set it down.

There's nothing wrong with hobbyist mags. But the mag stays respectable only when it is agressively honest.

What I would like ...
(Are you listening WD?)

I'd like to see WD print a yearly article on publishing alternatives -- on POD and self-publishing, on e-press and small press, on ethical standards for agents, publishers, and editorial services.
I'd like to see stats on book distribution and money.
I'd like to see model contracts.
I'd like to see warnings on scam.

This yearly article would reassure me WD is an honest hobbyist/beginning writer mag.

See. It don't take much.


Anonymous said...

One of Variety's most famous headlines: Hix Nix Stix Pix

(People in rural areas don't want to see movies about rural areas)

Anonymous said...

So have I been suckered or not? I've paid to enter one of WD's contests. If I win, is this a meaningful achievement? Are there free contests that are worth entering? WD requires the first publication rights of the winning entries - should I have sent the story to a magazine instead? How does one break into this business? I swear it's confusing! I get so frustrated waiting for a positive nibble from an agent on my novel that I've turned to short stories as a way of "getting in" somehow, but can't quite figure out what to do with these stories!

Linda Maye Adams said...

I've also found helpful articles in the magazine--just this month they had an article on the thriller genre, something that doesn't happen that often. And not only that, it was an accurate representation!

But I've also noticed a number of articles that do a disservice to writers (this problem also exists in The Writer). There are articles that suggest if you do a, b, and c, you'll get published. Add in articles and advertising on vanity, and suddenly those overly simplistic articles become a bad combination. The articles make it sound like writing is easy, when it really isn't. Beginning writers who aren't very good think, "I did a, b, and c, so it must be the publisher's fault that it's not getting published." So they head off to vanity press, certain they have a best seller if they can just get it out there.

Personally, I'd like the writing magazines to do articles that HONESTLY addresses the pluses and minuses of vanity publishing for NOVELISTS. Too many articles suggest instant success and cite non-fiction successes, which misleads the novelists.

Anonymous said...

First: This was completely my fault. I was young and stupid and thought I had written the greatest novel ever. I was scammed out of $2,000 through an ad found in WD. Please, please, please stay away from that magazine and its ads.