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HomeRants > Writing with a genre. > Go gonzo once in a while



Go gonzo once and a while

For your own sake, and for your audience, once you have learned how to write within a particular genre, you must push it to the limit, changing it so it does a better job accommodating your audience, your context, and your own experience.

Generic writing may do an adequate job for the audience for a while.

But if you do nothing but obey the conventions, you cannot write well, and eventually your audience wanders away.

Take Christopher Locke's project, Entropy Gradient Reversals, a webzine and e-mail list that asks, "Does intelligent life exist in online business?"

Locke's alter ego, RageBoy, challenges most of the assumptions of mass marketing and mass media.

RageBoy is all my own worst qualities and character defects, somehow split out into a separate personality, that, allowed free range on the Web, has attained a disturbing measure of autonomy. He is my science-fiction monster run amok."

Naturally, stretching the genre of marketing advice to the limit, Locke won thousands of subscribers, who liked his heretical stance, and, ironically, big businesses paid him a lot of money to come in and do presentations to shock their marketing troops.

As Locke says, you may want to go gonzo:

Everyone needs an outlet for that part of themselves that usually isn't allowed to speak at all. Not always to be sure, but often, that part has something vital to say. It has a certain wisdom, but we repress it, thinking it's too weird, too untamed, too out of control. --Christopher Locke, Gonzo Marketing.








Writing in a genre (Full chapter from Hot Text, in PDF, 770K, or about 13 minutes at 56K)

What genre does your audience want from you?


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