I’ve invented a new game for writers called Genre Roulette. To kick off today’s MWA cross-genre fiction panel, I typed up a few dozen genre and sub-genre labels and dropped them into a paper bag. I made each of my panelists pick two and then pitch a story idea that combined those two randomly selected genres. After the panel was over, I encouraged writers in the audience to come forward and try their hand at Genre Roulette. It was a blast, and a lot of the ideas actually had legs. I think I hear the sound of tapping keys right now…
Of course, I wouldn’t want the home audience to feel left out of all the fun. So, ladies and gentlemen, I give you Genre Roulette: The Home Game.
First, make a list of your genres and sub-genres. This list can include (but is not limited to) any or all of the following:
WESTERN, ROMANCE, EROTICA, ESPIONAGE, POLICE PROCEDURAL, HARDBOILED, NOIR, COZY, CLASSIC WHODUNNIT, HARD SCIENCE FICTION, HIGH FANTASY, URBAN FANTASY, SPACE OPERA, MEDICAL, SUPERNATURAL, SPLATTERPUNK, STEAMPUNK, CYBERPUNK, LOVECRAFTIAN, CHICK LIT, PULP ADVENTURE, SERIAL KILLER, HISTORICAL, TECHNO-THRILLER, ZOMBIE, VAMPIRE, HORROR, POST APOCOLYPTIC, COMEDY, WAR/MILITARY, SLEAZE, SUPERHERO, et fucking cetera
Now, find a way to randomize this list. You can go old-school and pick em from a paper bag like I did, or come up with some modern now a-go-go kind of computerized method. Whatever works.
Once you have your two randomly selected genres, post your story pitches in the comment section. Or tweet them as replies to @faustfatale. Or hell, you can even go ahead and actually write the story.
Note: you may find there are combos that flat out don’t work, like NOIR with COZY, or combos that are too damn easy, like VAMPIRE and EROTICA. In these cases, you have Mistress Christa’s permission to toss em back and try again.