The evolution of genre in the writing process

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Categorising works by genre can be controversial in literature. Margaret Atwood and Kazuo Ishiguro are two examples of writers who have been vocal in denouncing the genre their works have been boxed into. Yet genre is an essential part of the writing process, because specific language, styles and structures are used within different social contexts to communicate purpose. This paper is a practice-led study that analyses the evolution in genre of what became a memoir, to illustrate how experimenting with different genres shaped the final form, structure and genre of the piece. While genre did not dictate the writing process from the first time I sat down to write, communicating my purpose the way I intended depended on finding the right genre. I worked on the memoir over a few years, and in that time the text began as a short story and then morphed to poetry, an essay, and finally, to a memoir. Once a completed work is published, the labelling of that work is then out of the writer’s hands. Yet separate to the role genre plays in selling books, genre is key in text construction and a tool that writers have at their disposal during the writing process to enrich their work
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


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