Blending writing genres and how it can help your story

Writing in a certain genre has its benefits. Blurring that line can reap writing rewards. Lets take a book that I recently finished as an example.

“American Gods” by Neil Gaiman, a book that crossed many lines about genre. It won the Hugo the Nebula and the Stoker. Each of these awards represents a different genre. The Nebula and Hugo could be strung together since they are both science fiction/fantasy awards, but from different organizations. Doing that would not be giving credit to those that vote for each.

The Bram Stoker Award is for “superior achievement in horror writing.”

American Gods blended all its genres so well it is hard to narrow it down to which elements of the book were fantasy, horror or science fiction. Let’s not be wrong  Neil Gaiman’s prose helped win those awards not the blending of genres. His prose in the book was fascinating.

There are other factors in the book than these. The book blended mythology, fantasy and horror in a way that I became fascinated with each character that showed up, and what each represented. There were times I would put the novel down and research who a character was simply to understand the character better.

It is involvement with characters that we as writers want. Neil Gaiman sold me with his Sandman graphic novels. Crossing genres is what writers do. Whether it is to change to write in a different genre as Neil Gaiman did or blur the lines between them.

Mixing genres has its advantages. Writing something you are not sure stays within a genre you don’t have to worry as much. If the story changes genres in the middle of writing there should be no fear of, “will my agent or publisher like this.”

Breaking down boundaries and breaking rules is what writing is about.

There are many reasons to blend or blur genres. Sticking to one genre doesn’t allow you to stretch your writing legs or push your self.

My belief with writing is if you don’t write something every time that stretches your writing ability, you’re not using your writing talents to the best of that ability.

Doing something different from everyone else is what every writer strives to do.

I believe there is no reason to stay with one genre.

The most limiting thing a writer can do is stop their characters from creating a world that only the writer loves.


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