Genre-Crossing

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IDGS

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Now, this may be a little redunant because I'm already doing it, but I'm looking for some feedback regardless.

What's your opinion on crossing genres to make a more dimensional work?

With my current WIP, the theme is the psychological horror and effects on veterans of the current war in Afghanistan. I chose this because many of my friends are infantry vets, and I find the modern veteran absolutely facinating. For a feel for what I'm going for, think the old movie Jacob's Ladder or An Occurance at Owl Creek. Flashbacks, PTSD and the fragility of the mind.

What do you guys think? Good? Bad? Patronizing?
Does crossing genres weaken the original idea?

Fangew berry berry mushhhhh.
 

Z0Marley

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I think crossing genres is okay as long as you stay true to your main genre.

I write Urban Fantasy. There's elements of sci-fi. There's elements or romance. There's elements of mystery. There's elements of humor. There's elements of history and religion.

It isn't just Urban Fantasy, but I stay true to my main genre without letting on of the other themes outshine the main focus. I believe having so many themes creates complexity in a book. In my eyes, it's what separates good books from great books.

Having two themes that are equal is a bit trickier. Most writers prefer to become published. In order to be published you must be able to label your work. Keep that in mind. =)

Aside from that I think your work sounds outrageously interesting!
 

Lady Ice

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I like genre-crossed stuff. It can be a good way to look at something in a new light.
 

Ardent Kat

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What two genres do you think you're crossing? War can be sufficiently horrific that "horror" is kind of implied. And the "horror" genre isn't limited to any one particular setting.
 

Ardent Kat

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I like genre-crossing material as well, but it does seem very hard to pitch.

Yeah; I'd pitch it as "Genre A with elements of Genre B" rather than saying it's a hybrid between the two. It's all about marketability and Barnes and Nobles (or whoever) is going to want to know in which section to stick your book.
 

jana13k

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In my experience, lately editors have been avoiding hybrids like the plague, which is unfortunate as I write them and like to read them. Pitch it as one thing. Do not muddy the waters. Then let everyone be happy when you give them more than just one thing.
 

IDGS

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Thanks for all the feedback!

As for the war / horror crossover being kind of reduntant as one is implied in the other, I beg to differ - an examination of war can be viewed in many different lights, and we're not just talking the bullet-wound, children being killed, shellshock aspect.

Essentially, without giving too much away, the narrator is coming apart at the seams over motivation about the war, reluctance to go back, etc. I guess it's really hard to get across what I'm trying for without outright posting a synopsis. Think Black Hawk Down reimagined by Stephen King with less supernatural overtones.
 

Lady Ice

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I'd say put it as 'an unusual/provocative/another word you like slant on war'
 

IDGS

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For another good way to look at it, think The Catcher in the Rye (for the isloation, not the narrative) reimagined from the viewpoint of a recovering wounded infantryman, with a whole lot of twists along the way.
 

job

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I think genres like to have their boundaries pushed out a little. Go ahead and knock out some elbow room.
 

Jamesaritchie

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There's nothing wrong with mixing genres, and many, many great books do just this. But the book still has to fit into one main genre, else it's probably not going to sell.
 

LordMoogi

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I end up crossing genres as a force of habit. I tend to think of genres as guidelines, rather than actual limitations. Hell, my current project is a spy story/conspiracy thriller comedy with TONS of SF/fantasy elements set in a world where nearly all fiction is true. It'll probably be published as science fiction or urban fantasy in the end, but it doesn't exactly fit either genre.
 

Miss Plum

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On Publishers Marketplace I've seen pitches described the same way movies are often pitched, e.g. "Gomer Pyle meets The Last Samurai."

If your book can be described this way, you might want to take that approach.
 

IDGS

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Yeah, I have to agree.

To be honest, it still gets me a little down that marketability sometimes interferes with my creativity.

Just sayin'.
 

Danthia

In your example, I don't see you crossing genres. It looks like mainstream fiction to me. There is no "war" genre in fiction that I'm aware of. There are military thrillers, but that's a sub genre of thriller. Horror also has specific tropes that make it horror. "The horrors of war" isn't a trope in that genre.

Now, what you do with that theme plot wise will define genre. If the psychological part has horror elements, you could very well have a horror novel. But that theme could apply to any number of genres or no genre at all. It's plot that determines that, not the theme.

You might just have mainstream fiction and you won't have to worry about genre at all.
 
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