If you’re an author or a reader of fiction (or both), I’d love to hear the story of how you discovered your favorite literary genre. Feel free to leave a comment after this post or write a comment on Facebook to let me know.
My favorite genre is fantasy. (Yeah, I know…duh! If you’ve been reading my blog posts for more than two minutes you already know that.) My introduction to the genre came through a grammar lesson.
I was in a seventh grade English class learning to diagram sentences. Not exactly the world’s most exciting activity. Although the concept of diagramming sentences was new for most of us in class, it made sense almost instantly to me. While that may be nice in terms of grades, anyone who has mastered a class activity too quickly knows the problem. Once you do, you then must endure hours of the same information being explained in different ways by a dedicated teacher trying to instill understanding in the rest of the class.
Which is to say: I was bored.
Part of the class lesson included a little workbook with sample paragraphs intended to be used for practice in diagramming. As I flipped through the work book in an effort to find something interesting to read, I discovered that each page of sample paragraphs contained a mini book review.
One of the book reviews talked about a Hobbit who found a magic ring. The book sounded intriguing, so I checked it out of the library. After I finished reading it, I attempted to check out the trilogy written by the same author. One of the three books had already been checked out by another patron of the library, so I was forced to wait for the next visit. (The fact that I still remember that after over 50 years shows just how anxious I was to read them.) Eventually I got to read all three books of the Lord of the Rings. I was so young that I didn’t really understand a lot of the social structure portrayed among the “big folk” in Rohan and Gondor, but I dearly loved the Hobbits.
In high school and college, friends introduced me to a wide range of popular fantasy authors at the time: Burroughs, McCaffrey, McKillip, Kurtz, De Camp, etc. By then, I was completely hooked.
Fantasy is now a major genre with its own sub-genres (high fantasy, humorous fantasy, sword and sorcery, urban fantasy, etc.) I recently learned about a relatively new subgenre called “litrpg” (or something similar to that). I’m really not sure which fantasy subgenre I like the best.
So, you all have now heard my story. What’s yours? What is your favorite literary genre and how did you discover it? If you’re a fantasy fan, do you prefer one subgenre over the others?
I look forward to hearing from you.