Sunday, June 15, 2008

Kicking the Box - Genre & The Labels of Life

I'm going to discuss "kicking the box" in several posts. It started out as a joke between me and my friends whenever I went off to kickboxing class. They would say so "you're going to kick the box" or "how was kicking the box?" But the term eventually took on a bigger meaning--bigger than thinking outside the box--exploding the sterotype--more like exploring the universe within.

I found the child within long ago--my child within is a mischief maker but as a child doesn't know enough to do anything really well. Now I'm looking for the Ancient Elder within. I want to know all the secrets of the universe. Wouldn't you, if you could?

One of the boxes I'm going to kick this week is because I'm a writer. I write science fiction, fantasy, and paranormal romance. I have written practically everything including non-fiction. Now I've been told it's important to being able to label a particular piece, but it appears to me that by doing that I'm limiting the audience for the story or book. I can think of several mainstream novels I've read which to me are clearly science fiction but are labeled mainstream. They reach a larger audience of readers by being labeled that way.

I've kicked the notion of labeling anything all my life from works of art or literature to people. But it appears people in general need labels to anchor thoughts on. They are not confortable in the total freedom of free thinking. So I've created my first non-label--Experimental Fiction. The label implies that this is an experimental form and you won't be able to pigeonhole it into one single aspect of life. So I must be a writer of Experimental Fiction. Sounds explosive doesn't it. Sounds surprising? Sounds like the unexpected could happen? Sounds like fun, doesn't it? Isn't that what literature--all literature--is supposed to be? Let literature move us, inspire us, and become part of our reference for life.

I'm going off now to write more Experimental Fiction. How about you?

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