More than the Sum of its Parts: Writing Beyond Tropes and Easter Eggs

When a book comes out, the publisher or the author will often promote it by describing it as a list of tropes, identities, and references. “Here’s my new novel, A Groan of Stone and Bone. It has enemies to lovers, a chaotic bisexual, BIPOC representation, elemental magic, and tons of Buffy references!”

It’s akin to any product listing: here are the specifications, the dimensions, and the features. We understand why books are marketed like this. It’s an effective way to sell products, and under capitalism a book is a commercial product. But when you start to think of the writing process that way–as a cobbling together of pre-existing parts–you usually end up with unsatisfying literature. That’s because art is not merely a product. Art is more than the sum of its parts.

In this episode of Rite Gud, we discuss why you need to take a holistic approach to writing. We are joined by Youtuber Lola Sebastian.


About Rite Gud: Raquel S. Benedict is an author, appearing in Fantasy and Science Fiction and Gardner Dozois’ The Very Best of the Best: 35 Years of The Year’s Best Science Fiction. Matt Keeley, founder of Kittysneezes, is producing Rite Gud for KS Media, LLC. Rite Gud is a Kittysneezes production. If you have questions, comments and concerns, email ritegud – at – kittysneezes – dot – com. Rite Gud is also on Patreon, at Patrons receive access to the official Kittysneezes Discord, exclusive episodes, critiques and more. 

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