3) The Mystery of Genres

When asked what genre is, many people would give similar answers. However, it may not exactly be what you are looking for. According to google, genre is “a category of artistic composition, as in music or literature, characterized by similarities in form, style, or subject matter.” However, According to Genre: What is a blog? What is a wiki? Genre is described as “types of texts that share certain features because their users share certain purposes” Furthermore, according to chapter 3 in Writer/designer, “genres can morph according to rhetorical situations and are not only static, but dynamic.”

Genre is a very difficult term to define. There are many elements to genres, including genre conventions and genre analysis. Genre conventions are “the features that audiences expect from a text”. This could include design elements or visual arrangements. To make the task of defining genre even more difficult, genres also contain sub-genres, or “groups of similar genres that all fall under the same category”.

My take on genres is similar to Vicky’s. In her blog post, Vicky mentioned “Before, I had always associated the concept of genre with popular art, such as film, music, and literature. For example, I acknowledged horror movies, country music, and romance novels as genres.” My views are very similar. When the word genre comes up, my mind immediately goes to books. The words horror, mystery, comedy, and thriller, immediately jump into my head in response to the question “What is your favorite genre of books?” I’ve often been asked this question being a creative writer and I’m asked what genre I like to write in (can you guess what it is yet?)  I also often think of genres of movies or music. Until taking this course my knowledge of genre was no larger than these simple classifications rather than thinking of the rhetorical situations that go along with them. I also had no idea that we “should see genre in response to kairos “(which “describes how something fits into a certain setting or time” as mentioned in Blogging as a Social Action by Carolyn Miller).

Digital Genres support the definition of genres as they are created for specific purposes and also share certain purposes as well. While text genres may be more linear, (reading one word at a time page by page in chronological order until completed) this differs from the nonlinear form that many digital genres take. Some examples of nonlinear features include “flashbacks” or “flash-forwards” or interactive novels and games where the user chooses what events will occur and when.

Defining Genres may be a mystery but one aspect grasped my attention. I have always been interested in the mystery genre and have read countless novels whilst trying to figure out “Whodunit.” Though I am not sure if it is what I will end up doing for this project, as there are more factors I need to work out before beginning, I would like to explore the digital genre of mystery and interactive mystery games, specifically analyzing Mystery.net. On this site, the player can choose the “solve it” option, where they read a paragraph and try to solve who committed the crime in the scene. There are also options where one can simply read a story, without having to interact with it. However, I think the interactive aspect comes in when you can click on each person to discover their alibi and go back and forth between scenes and stories if they’d like. I would like to research the mystery genre and the digital world of mystery while I uncover the mystery myself on how to accomplish this task.

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Works Cited:

Ball, Cheryl E. et al. Writer/Designer: A Guide to Making Mulimodal Projects. 2nd ed., New York, Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2018.

“2 Genre: What is a Blog? What id a Wiki?” Google Drive, drive.google.com/file/d/1mEMZFz3g4R9hA2zX86HAJiWAj5ba-WHS/view.

Miller , Carolyn. “Blogging as Social Action: A Genre Analysis of the Weblog.” Into the Blogosphere, https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0f81SG3m2PXQ2w3eGxFWE9mVWs/view.

About taylorjp 15 Articles
Jordyn Taylor is a Junior Creative Writing and Publishing and Editing double Major from Bangor, Pennsylvania. She is the Head Editor of the Common Reading Internship, the Junior Director of FUSE, and a student ambassador. She is also a lover of murder mysteries, poetry slams, red velvet cupcakes, and anything out of the ordinary. She has found her voice through her writing and loves to showcase that work whenever she can.