Friday, 20 February 2009

Whittle Dene and fiction genres

In the Whittle Dene valley there is a collection of holiday dwellings, or weekend retreats. They look self-built, though in the last five years a couple of new ones have appeared, and they look far more sophisticated. The owner of one of the older homes has carefully coiled and wound the branches of growing trees and shrubs into circular shapes all around his property. The effect is curious - part Tolkienish and part hobbycraft.

The trees have accepted their restrictions and kept on growing, sometimes melding branches together. It would be interesting to know why it has been done, but there's never anyone there to ask. I know the woods are coppiced, and the valley used to be famous for bleaching linens as the water was so clean and pure in the Whittle Burn. The old stone buildings are ruins now.

There's been an interesting and helpful discussion on the RNA (Romantic Novelists' Association)online group recently about the distinctions/genres used by publishers and agents. I thought I knew what these were, having worked all my life around books, but still had lots to learn. Given the ease of communication today, American terms and British terms are used interchangeably but they do not necessarily mean the same thing. Also it seems to me, agents/publishers apply their own definitions to terms like commercial fiction, literary fiction, womens' fiction. Sigh. Homework time!


Linda Banche said...

Interesting pictures. The effect is certainly strange.

Can you give us a link to the terms British publishers and agents are using for distinctions/genres?

Here's the link to the Romance Writers of America list of romance genres.

Anonymous said...

love this place used to go every week end and school holidays when i was a kid we owned one of the wooden holiday cottages which i wish we still had now went back last week for a trip down memory lane and it has not change one bit love it