Why do genre writers…

Why do genre writers love training / school sequences so much? I am starting to think about my next story, with main character of temple dancer / prostitute, and I immediately started wanting to do flashbacks to her training days. And yes, it's sex, so that's part of it. But genre writers do this with magic too, and swordfighting, and even cooking -- any specialized skill.

Why do we love it so? I say this as someone who not only wants to write it, but loves reading it. (Taran Wanderer, anyone? God, I love that book.) But I suspect my story will be better if I skip the training completely.

(Now I want to go re-read the Chronicles of Prydain. And it is summer, so I shall.)

3 thoughts on “Why do genre writers…”

  1. Isn’t it primarily a painless way to provide background information to make the setting (fantasy, futuristic, or historical) make sense to the reader. Someone recently posted a comment about how much she hated descriptive passages that provide this background. (Maybe it was Nnedi Okorafor?) A school scene is a really good way to make such scenes interesting and to simultaneously develop characters.

    Or am I missing something?

  2. Superhero origin stories are good too, and RPGs where the characters are frequently acquiring new and exciting powers. I suspect that it’s because we like seeing people improve (including ourselves); it’s a satisfying and not corny story of success and happiness.

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