Thursday, May 19, 2011

PSA: Writers, Don't Insult Other genres!

For me to say I am livid is an understatement. Nothing makes me more angry than someone disrespecting a specific genre of writing, any genre. But it's even worse when it's a fellow writer.

Now there are several genres I just don't read because I just don't enjoy them. Maybe some I might even think are a little silly. But you do NOT see or hear me telling the world that. I have respect for these genres even if it's not my thing. ALL writers deserve respect for their art, no matter what.

Yesterday, one of my writers group members made a comment on our message board about romance and erotic romance. I quote:

"To put it into slightly more pointed terms, it seems to be about the manufacture of overtly hyperbolic and (ever-so-slightly) hedonistic self-gratification material to satisfy sexually inhibited spinsters and untended soccer moms. Basically, it seems to be about writing pornography which allows its reader plausible deniability about the fact that she is reading pornography."

I can handle it when it's some Joe Shmoe insulting the genre...chalk it up to an idiot who's mouth moves and there's no brain attached. But a fellow writer?? Really?? That is just wrong. And this guy is in my writers group! How do I deal with that?? I read pieces of my manuscripts all the time. Is he secretly thinking I am an idiot undeserving of respect for my writing??

I did email the guy...I just couldn't sit back and hold my tongue. Maybe it was wrong of me to do it...but no one disrespects me, and my fellow romance writers and readers, and gets away with it. Do I need to bring up Judy Mays??? I think not. But I almost want to be really evil and give the whole romance community his email address. How would he react if millions of romance writers and readers knocked on his cyber door????


  1. That's just as bad as someone saying the whole Twilight Saga or Sookie Series are for people who are bored with their own lives thus looking for adventure and fantasy in a book.

    I mean, isn't all of this what books are for? I'm not big on Sci-Fi but that doesn't mean it isn't good reading. Just not my favorite or preferred genre.

    I love romance, and I love erotic romance and I love my smut; I also love parenting books, and books on self improvement, on finances, on raising a family, on cooking.

    What genre does he write?

  2. Oh my God. It sounds like someone just wanted to see how many big words they could string together to form an insult. How much do you want to bet this guy has a stash of porn the size of my house? Soccer moms and spinsters my ass.

  3. Wow. Just wow. It's always disappointing to see another writer do something so foolish. Rather than making their point about a said genre I would personally view them as rude and move on.

    I think it's important that you said something. Don't hold back when it comes to do something you love. You weren't belittling a genre that is very wildly accepted. You weren't telling him that his writing sucked.

    Respect. Genre's deserved respect. All of us as writers work very hard at making something that we'd like to read. We shouldn't be judged or told it's wrong by someone.

    What a jerk. Keep us posted on how he responds. I'd like to think he'd be apologetic but having never met him I have no idea how it would go down.

  4. To put it into slightly more pointed terms, sounds like this pretentious fool only gets a boner when he uses a polysyllabic word.

    Granted, some erotic fiction is pure crap. So is some YA, mystery, biography, non-fiction, sci-fi - and certainly, so are some opinions. Writing in Flow

  5. Farmer's wife, I think he writes more literary stuff.

    LOL Gina!! I bet there is a wide range of porn at his house!!! Yeah, he's like a walking thesaurus. I wonder if he actually has all those words in his head or sits there with a thesaurus to write a reply. And this was only a tiny portion of his long post.

    But yeah, all genres aren't for me either, but I'm not gonna sit here and belittle them and their readers.

    He totally back peddled after my email...told me I misunderstood and when i pointed out the specific lines that pissed me off he said "I was really criticizing the editorial stipulations, and the imaginary audience to whom these strange stipulations might appeal. I don't think of all romance as being defined by the guidelines which I was criticizing." What a load of crap!!! I'm just moving on with a "whatever" attitude, but I have lost respect for him.

    Thanks for your support ladies!!!!

  6. While I agree with this individual's assessment of the romance field - to a point - I don't agree with posting in a derogatory manner. Romance is not my preferred genre to read or write in, but hey; look how long Harlequin has been around. And RWA wouldn't be millions of writers strong if it didn't appeal to readers.

    Every genre has its audience. For that matter; ever book has its chosen audience. Insulting a genre is like insulting the intelligence of the audience.

    I don't know about anyone else, but I read fiction to escape my day life. To be entertained, and think outside my regimented reality. I read mostly epic fantasy for its "overtly hyperbolic and (ever-so-slightly) hedonistic self-gratification material."

    I'm glad you stood up for people who read alternative realities: which to me includes any genre not memoire, biography, history, or acedemic. Essentially, reading for pleasure.

    On a side note; I finished Bitch Named Karma a couple weeks ago. It is outside my normal reading genre - I'm not a romance or chic lit reader - but the blurbs so intrigued me I had to buy it. I'm glad I did.

    I'll say I had a hard time getting into the character at first; but I'm sure that was intentional. There was a distinct character growth theme to the novel that was well worth the journey. Excellently written portrayal of a modern young woman.

    I'm having some committment problems that is delaying my review on my blog and so the publishing site too; but I want you to know I really enjoyed your book.


  7. Beverly's comment totally cracked me up! Amazing that someone in your own writing group would say such a thing. Where's the support?!

  8. Just a follow-up - your post inspired me to write one of my own about choosing a genre and finding our writers' voice, and about how there IS no "low-brow" genre, which I linked back to here.

    Discovering Our Genre & Voice

  9. Hi Stephanie, thought I'd call in and say hi. That guy sounds like he just likes to hear his own voice or love his big words. How unkind. As you say, if you don't enjoy a genre that doesn't mean it's not great, it's just personal taste after all.