When I get asked what kind of writer I am, or what my serial is about, I always find it difficult to answer. It is not that I don’t know where I am taking my writing, but it is more of the fact that I am a proponent of genre-busting. Genre-busting is what I view as a different approach to the cross-genre. With the cross-genre, it is a hybrid between two genres, like the dark fantasy genre being the hybrid between horror and fantasy. With genre-busting, however, it is instead defined by how it seems to hop from one genre to another, or by how it is much harder to pin it down to one specific genre. I can say that my serial is a Science Fantasy (which is a hybrid of the science and fantasy genres) Action-Adventure, but beyond that, there are many elements from other genres that makes it seem like a chimera of ideas.
While it is possible to make a genre-buster by accident, it seems to require at least some awareness of what you are doing since it is going against the grain in a way. The idea of genres is that it makes it easier to focus on writing a certain way, and to appeal to a certain demographic. If I had to make a comparison, I would compare genres to ordering a pizza (don’t judge). Sure, a person may enjoy toppings them separately, but that does not mean that will like it all together. Or they could like it in any combination of toppings, but a person just wants the basics sometimes. The reason why I employ genre-busting is more about who I am really. I anyone where to look at what I watch, read, listen to, or play, they will find it hard to find a distinct pattern. That is because the concept of integration is important to me. I view understanding other creatures to be essential to living beings, and I think of writing as both a way to express myself, and to be understood. I am not too terribly interested in having a single demographic since I want to bring people together. HOWEVER, I realize the very real danger of having no focus, or falling prey to the oft-repeated, “appeal to a wider audience”. I want to have a little something for everybody, but I know it requires great skill, and I must still have a focus on how everything will be woven together.
That is only one reason though. The other and equally important reason is that I believe that having different aspects and elements complement each other strengthen both. For an example, you can take a look at my poems Pitch Black and Shining (I recommend reading it in that order). I find it to be monotonous when there is no diversity in the mood. It is not a matter of quality either. No matter how great a small piece of a song is, if all you hear is that one part with no variation, it will get a bit boring. Most works I know switch moods at least once, but to highly varying degrees. Personally, I believe that very dark stories are prone to reader apathy, which is known as “Darkness Induced Apathy”. Dark and tragic moments are impactful when in balance with other emotions, but there is a risk of an audience becoming numb to it all.
And yes, I recognize the irony of a perpetual frowner talking about different emotions, but as the wheel shows, there are different levels of rage, so I am not a hypocrite.