Hello, darlings from the future.
Did you really think I made these week by week? I sat my butt down before work and hammered these out in one day. Well, one night and day.
It's kept the material fresh in my head, has done nothing for keeping my posts linear, but at least I'm getting the heart of what I wanted to say.
God, at least I hope so.
|Who knows at this point?|
Today's post is about subverting genre.
This post in particular makes me feel a bit uneasy. This is the time where I admit this is the first I've really tried to toy with the words.
I've played with the idea of changing genre. What pantser doesn't get bored with convention?
But the words are big and slightly scary.
For those who don't know, subverting genre is basically undermining its authority. Given last week's praise of following genre, this might seem really really dumb.
And I get that. Because if it's done poorly, it really is stupid.
|Jessabelle: the one story that teaches my unborn children to fear horror/mystery/romance blends.|
The ways to subvert genre are as follows, but not limited to: characters aware of the tropes, characters having freewill/self-realization, etc.
For example, you couldn't put me in a zombie movie. I'd know to blow everything up and not leave my house until they all decayed in the sun.
And you couldn't put a stubborn person in an underdog movie because they'll try to tear up your speeches and might just go home and drink beer while binging Netflix.
We've so many of the same genre movies (sometimes because we do like them vs one made a lot of money) that putting any one of us within them would kinda rob the guidelines of fulfillment.
|Although this was the only satisfying scene for me in Cabin in the Woods.|
The Dark Knight is so saturated in the real world, with real fears of terrorism and emotional stakes for the people involved, that it's hard to even call it a superhero movie.
That probably would have made Cabin in the Woods enjoyable for me.
But what do we call The Dark Knight if not a superhero movie?
It has Batman in it so thankfully, there's no confusion. It's labeled a superhero movie.
Also, the fact that if you squint, you can see the bones of a superhero movie. A bad guy on his merry way, a superhero who wants to focus on his own thing, then they have no way of continuing in their own paths because they're in each other's way.
It's in the pitch.
The heart of The Dark Knight's Bruce Wayne is a love story. He wants so badly to fix everything up so that he and Rachel can be together finally.
His plan is to get the girl.
|And it is f#cking adorable.|
There. A superhero story with a love story at the protagonist's heart.
When you look at Titanic, it's not really off as a story of love. At its core it is, so when this is pitched, it's more romance (because that's what the main focus is.) It's a treasure hunt on the side. They go diving, they find clues, they search, they don't find it. (Failure does not change this bit.)
Not to mention the whole disaster movie part.
Because of Rose's age, it's also a coming of age story. Who else forgot she's only seventeen during the events?
The Mummy too starts off as action, quickly turns to horror, and as time goes by, becomes a love story, all while living in the world of action.
Layering isn't hard as long as the promise of a second layer is said a beat after the bones are set.
The Mummy wasn't a horror until you realized that the sexy man beast is an action hero through and through.
Also, this happens pretty early on too. Promising a hint of what's to come.
She's so lucky. And beautiful. *sobs*
This concept, like everything else you learn, will take practice. I'm wondering, if as a pantser with a love of genre blending, I haven't already tried this...
But the guide sheet will definitely help the editing process, as drafts go on, to make this one of the genre-blending stories that'll stick with readers and viewers for years.
I'll see you guys next week for Nolan's way of using theme as a source of conflict and how it works with characters and their motivations.