Genre bending

24/10/2012 12:02

My 'comfort zone' genre - both reading and writing - is a kind of blurred sci-fi/fantasy.   You know the kind of thing - some interesting tech in some form of AU setting.  

Terry Pratchett's Discworld is an interesting example of this.   The initial impression is of a pre-tech Earth-type world where magic and myth are real - there are Wizards, Vampires and Werewolves aplenty.   There are also racial tensions between Dwarves and Trolls.   However, the Wizards have invented a computer called Hex - it includes a ram's skull and has a mouse living inside it (somehow, it works better with a mouse...).   What begins as a fantasy story somehow manages to bleed over into sci-fi.

Tad Williams' Otherland series goes the other way.   A group of megarich individuals have poured their collective wealth into developing a virtual reality computer network that will enable them to live forever.   Each has created a series of virtual worlds drawn from across the range of available literary and historical sources.

So, this is where my writing tends to go.   However, I also enjoy reading other genres from Tolkein to Austen to Koontz and everything in between.

The question is, how well could I write in an alternative genre?   The last two Flash Fiction Friday challenges (Western and Horro) haven't really inspired me to actually write - but maybe I should be forcing myself outside the comfort zone a little more?   After all, I can't be sure where my best writing lies if I never even try other things.

I'm exploring this idea for my NaSho stories - either take a single prompt and write it in as many different genres as I can come up with, or write each prompt in a different genre.   The next step is probably to see how many genres I can come up with - and how many sub-genres.   For example, 'horror' instantly suggests 'gothic horror', 'slasher' and 'monster'.

More on this in my next post.