Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Serious Writing

Blog Conversation About “Genre” Writing . . .


Our last conversation was about “serious writing”, on May 2nd, 7th, and 9th… Genre Writing

It ended because the last post had no comments…

So, here I go again, starting up a new conversation :-)

I’ll begin with the word history of “Genre”:

1770, “particular style of art,” a French word in English (nativized from c. 1840), from French genre “kind, sort, style” (see gender (n.)). Used especially in French for “independent style.” In painting, as an adjective, “depicting scenes of ordinary life” (a domestic interior or village scene, as compared to landscapehistorical, etc.) from 1849.

If you did a Google Search on “Genre”, you’d have a merry time trying to sort out all the opinions…

Sure, authors often stay within certain well-established genres; like Murder Mystery, Police Procedural, Science-Fiction, Fantasy, Alternative History, etc., etc., etc….

Still, my favorite fiction writer, C. J. Cherryh, usually wrote in either Sci-fi or Fantasy (though, she ably warped them at will…); plus she has a series, the Morgaine Cycle, that is both Fantasy and Sci-Fi…

So what is this slippery “quality” of fiction that has well-walled-off communities of writers and readers, as well as many examples of strange and wonderful hybrids of all types; and, certainly, some works that can’t be corralled into any specific category…

Being the kind of writer I am, I can easily go out on a literary limb and say: One could consider each author’s unique style their own particular “Niche” in the book world…

Oh, my, now I have to show you the word history for Niche:

1610s, “shallow recess in a wall,” from French niche “recess (for a dog), kennel” (14c.), perhaps from Italian nicchia “niche, nook,” from nicchio “seashell,” said by Klein and Barnhart to be probably from Latin mitulus “mussel,” but the change of -m- to -n- is not explained. Watkins suggests that the word is from an Old French noun derived from nichier “to nestle, nest, build a nest,” via Gallo-Roman *nidicare from Latin nidus “nest” (see nidus), but that has difficulties, too. Figurative sense is first recorded 1725. Biological use dates from 1927.

So, following my maverick logic, we could consider:

…the author’s “nook” of “style” for their writing; or, the “nest” of their “kind” of writing; or, their particular “sort” of “recess” in which their writing happens…

Too strange to consider…? Or, fruitful of thought…?

What are your thoughts and feelings about “Genre”…?

All it takes is one comment for this conversation to continue :-)
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Yet More Conversation About “Serious Writing” . . .


This particular discussion began a week ago with, Blog Conversation ~ “Serious Writing”, and progressed this past Monday with, Our Conversation About “Serious Writing” Continues…Serious writing

For those who are new here, our blog conversations are only on Monday’s and Wednesday’s, with valuable re-blogs on all other days of the week except Friday, when I publish new short Tales

However, 7 weeks from now, the Tales will end and our Conversations will be on three days of the week :-)

Plus, what makes a particular conversation continue is one or more readers leaving a comment about it; and, here’s Monday’s comment:

“Just to keep things going – can fiction ever be called ‘serious writing’? A story doesn’t have to be amusing to involve the reader but my fear is that if it is truly serious it becomes too self-absorbed and the reader is disenchanted. However, dissertations and articles ( and in my case, items for recording) can be serious and can inform as well as influence the audience’s thinking. I include historical articles, medical articles and philosophical articles. These are by nature what I would call serious. As for personal writing, such as biographies, they can be serious or entertaining and the latest fashion for victim writing is just one example.”

That particular reader, who happens to be an author from the U.K., certainly seems to believe that it would be nearly impossible for fiction to be “serious”; and, I must acknowledge her assigning that meaning to “serious”…

Yet, for the sake of further discussion, I’ll reproduce a bit of the first post in this series:

What’s your conception of serious writing?

Writing done with focus and determination?

Writing done for reasons you deem significant or weighty?

Writing aimed toward instilling memorable ideas in your reader’s mind?

Some other type of writing…?

To further aid our discussion (and, not for the first time…), here’s the word history of “serious:

mid-15c., “expressing earnest purpose or thought” (of persons), from Middle French sérieux “grave, earnest” (14c.), from Late Latin seriosus, from Latin serius “weighty, important, grave,” probably from a PIE root *sehro- “slow, heavy” (source also of Lithuanian sveriu, sverti “to weigh, lift,” svarus“heavy, weighty;” Old English swær “heavy,” German schwer “heavy,” Gothic swers “honored, esteemed,” literally “weighty”). As opposite of jesting, from 1712; as opposite of light (of music, theater, etc.), from 1762. Meaning “attended with danger” is from 1800.

And, I’ll bring this segment of our conversation to a close with a very “serious” thought of my own:

Our society is in dire need of “serious writing”; something deeper than political wrangling, something higher than glorified ranting…

A type of writing (fiction or not) that can raise hopes and inspire actions that are productively Thrilling

Care to share a comment to continue this conversation…?
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If you don’t see a way to comment, try at the upper right of the post :-)
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Visit The Story Bazaar
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Great Source for “Book Promotion” Ideas
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For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
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Our Conversation About “Serious Writing” Continues…


Serious Writing This particular conversation about “serious writing” began last Wednesday —> Blog Conversation ~ “Serious Writing”

And, by way of prologuing the repetition of part of what that post said, here’s the comment that kept this conversation going:

“I was trying to choose a poem to read at a charity gig we are putting on next week ‘Music and Words’ and found I didn’t want to read anything serious. I wanted to make people laugh. However, I do write political stuff sometimes, trying to influence how people think and behave. There’s a time and place for everything.”

To reinforce what that commentor said, here’s a quote from Bahá’u’lláh:

 “Not everything that a man knoweth can be disclosed, nor can everything that he can disclose be regarded as timely, nor can every timely utterance be considered as suited to the capacity of those who hear it.”

And, because this is a blog that explores language quite a bit, I should mention that Bahá’u’lláh wrote in Persian and Arabic; and, translations into English (partly out of classical experience) use “he” and “man”, when the actual text has non-sexed words—the closest English can come to that is the word “they”; but, some folks resist it; and, using it can make the original meanings hard to convey

Short Form:

Bahá’u’lláh was also talking about women :-)

So…

We can’t always disclose what we know in writing; we can’t always consider what we want to write as timely; and, everything we write is probably not suitable for all readers…

And, while this advice can refer to “serious” writing, it could as well refer to writing that’s only meant to entertain…

As the author who kept this conversation going said: “There’s a time and place for everything.”

Still, I feel there are aspects of a conversation about “serious writing” that we haven’t yet discussed…

With a nod toward that potentiality, here (one more time) is the word history of “serious”:

mid-15c., “expressing earnest purpose or thought” (of persons), from Middle French sérieux “grave, earnest” (14c.), from Late Latin seriosus, from Latin serius “weighty, important, grave,” probably from a PIE root *sehro- “slow, heavy” (source also of Lithuanian sveriu, sverti “to weigh, lift,” svarus“heavy, weighty;” Old English swær “heavy,” German schwer “heavy,” Gothic swers “honored, esteemed,” literally “weighty”). As opposite of jesting, from 1712; as opposite of light (of music, theater, etc.), from 1762. Meaning “attended with danger” is from 1800.

So…

“Serious” can mean “heavy” but also “weighty”; “earnest” or “grave”; and, even somewhat “dangerous”

What’s your conception of “serious writing”?

When, especially, do you think it’s “necessary”?

When should it be “avoided”?

And, if you dare go there, when is “serious” writing “meditative”, “ruminative”, “contemplative”, or “introspective”?

Finally, if all those quotation marks haven’t scared you away, what are Your thoughts and feelings about “serious” writing?

It only takes one comment to keep this conversation going :-)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you don’t see a way to comment, try at the upper right of the post :-)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Visit The Story Bazaar
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Great Source for “Book Promotion” Ideas
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~ My Bio
Google Author Page

For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
OR >>> Send Me a short Voice Message :-)

 

Blog Conversation ~ “Serious Writing”


Our last discussion—Continuing the Conversation ~ Reading like a Writer—ended this past Monday since no comments were made… Serious Writing

So…

I get to start a different conversation :-)

And, you’ll notice I wrote it with quotes—“Serious Writing”…

What’s your conception of serious writing?

Writing done with focus and determination?

Writing done for reasons you deem significant or weighty?

Writing aimed toward instilling memorable ideas in your reader’s mind?

Some other type of writing…?

And, there’s the central factor of the conversation—a consideration of what you regard as “serious”…

World Peace?

Proper Governance?

Reducing Crime?

Comprehensive education?

Neighborhood cohesion?

Family unity?

What to do with your free time?

What to do to get more free time?

Other topics?

I just can’t help showing you the word history for “serious”:

mid-15c., “expressing earnest purpose or thought” (of persons), from Middle French sérieux “grave, earnest” (14c.), from Late Latin seriosus, from Latin serius “weighty, important, grave,” probably from a PIE root *sehro- “slow, heavy” (source also of Lithuanian sveriu, sverti “to weigh, lift,” svarus“heavy, weighty;” Old English swær “heavy,” German schwer “heavy,” Gothic swers “honored, esteemed,” literally “weighty”). As opposite of jesting, from 1712; as opposite of light (of music, theater, etc.), from 1762. Meaning “attended with danger” is from 1800.

Another aspect of a discussion about being serious is those folks who just can’t seem to get it together to get serious; or, the people who can get serious but for only a short time or with limited topics…

There are many writers who feel their craft should be used to help others escape from all the serious concerns of our age—there are many readers who want to find those writers…

If most of the writers wrote escapist literature and most of the readers consumed the same, what would be the chances the rest of humanity could effectively deal with or resolve all those serious concerns of our age?

You may have noticed that I’m purposely asking questions and proposing ideas to spark thought, feeling, and conversation…

If you have something you could share about this topic, do, please, leave a comment… :-)
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If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Visit The Story Bazaar
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Best Source for “Book Promotion” Ideas
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~ My Bio
Google Author Page
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Why I Try Not to Take My Writing Too Seriously


Isn’t being a writer a “serious” thing?

Read today’s Re-blog and you’ll have much to ponder…

Creative Writing with the Crimson League

1151807_to_doThere is SO much that goes into trying to make a career as an author. In my case,  which I doubt is unique, there’s:

  • Blogging and promoting my blog
  • Deciding whether I want to seek an agent or continue to self-publish
  • I think I want to find an agent, so I have to make time to do that
  • Writing and editing, of course
  • Social media and getting my work out there (see “promoting” above, which I’m doing an awful job at currently)
  • Balancing getting older projects in shape (I want to rerelease my trilogy with superior and tighter second editions) vs starting new ones
  • Making sure I keep enough time for the more important stuff

It easily becomes overwhelming and exhausting and just plain daunting, seemingly impossible, when I take it and myself too seriously.

That’s why I try not to. I love Chesterton’s claim that, “An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered…

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