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Subverting your genre (and/or mixing genres) ?

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A.J. Gemick View Drop Down
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    Posted: 04 Apr 2020 at 10:41pm
Howdy all- do any experienced NYCM-ers know (or have gained any good guesses over the years) of just how much judges like or dislike when one strays far from their assigned genre?  (or heavily mixes in other genres?) 

I kinda feel like the answer might be- it doesn't matter/it's totally random, because you never know if you'll end up in a heat that has a judge(s) that absolutely love tropes and will blast all those who don't stick 100% to the genre definitions NYCM uses..  so prbly shouldn't even worry about it, and just write your story..but wouldn't mind hearing other's thoughts and opinions on it.  (and yes, I am #totallyprocrastinatingonwriting)  :P


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote KLNorman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Apr 2020 at 10:57pm
On round 1 this time around I went a romantic comedy route for the comedy genre and I think I went to far toward romance. The judges kept saying that it was a very sweet romantic story. I didn’t move on to round 2 and I think my lack of comedy focus was a part of that. I know genre mixing can be well done but I think in my case, I strayed a bit too far. I did really well in a previous contest mixing comedy and spy genre and having a very light spy motif though. I think some genres lend themselves better toward mixing. From what I’ve seen here, mixing is goo, straying, not as much.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Suave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Apr 2020 at 11:31pm
I have seen a fairy tale done in scifi take top spot, but that is not
to say that would be the case with every set of judges.  For the
most part mashups, as we call them, do quite well.

One thing I do know is that subversion, or sedition, is not something
anyone takes lightly.  I use the movie, "The Last of the Mohicans" as
case in point: in it this was a hanging offense, of course Colonel Monroe
did not live to carry out his questionable judgement.  Now, I am not
saying that NYC Midnight will take these seemingly extreme measures,
but it might be better to err on the safe side.


Edited by Suave - 05 Apr 2020 at 12:44am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote kearanne Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Apr 2020 at 12:20am
I mean.... my comedy round one was definitely dark comedy, possibly bordering on suspense. All my beta readers said I was going to be DQed... and I made it through. So who knows, really?! 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote jennifer.quail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Apr 2020 at 4:28pm
Originally posted by A.J. Gemick A.J. Gemick wrote:

I kinda feel like the answer might be- it doesn't matter/it's totally random, because you never know if you'll end up in a heat that has a judge(s) that absolutely love tropes and will blast all those who don't stick 100% to the genre definitions NYCM uses..  so prbly shouldn't even worry about it, and just write your story..but wouldn't mind hearing other's thoughts and opinions on it.  (and yes, I am #totallyprocrastinatingonwriting)  :P



Pretty much this. I drew Romance (not a complaint; as LaurieH is fond of pointing out practically everything I write is a romance and I've sold them.) So basically I'm doing what I'd do if this were any other submission call: MY kind of romance, MY way, MY terms. The judges will either like it or they won't. I have little control over that. As long as I'm happy with it, it will likely sell to someone somewhere even if I don't advance here. (I find how well my stories here place is inversely proportional to their actual quality and salability so I've given up guessing what the judges might want.)

I do try to make sure it DOES fit the category somehow, though. 
FFC 2020 Ch 1 Gr 21: Cellared
Ch2 Gr 21: The Spy Who Came in For The Cake
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Snarkmaiden Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Apr 2020 at 5:03pm
My suspense story is a comedy. Apparently comedy-suspense is a thing!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote joasia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Apr 2020 at 5:32pm
Two years ago I was in the genre romantic comedy and told a completely sci-fi tale, that of course, was rooted in romantic comedy. I made it through - So I agree with what others said previously, as long as it's well done and still incorporates your assignment, it should be okay!

I am worried about my current assignment I just submitted though - it was historical fiction, and while I did reference things from the past, it reads more like a drama. I'm wondering if my references to the time will be enough? I did not include well-known historical people or places, just a few historical events that lend themselves to recognizing what era the piece was written in. So I am a bit worried this time around!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote LyndaD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Apr 2020 at 5:51pm
Originally posted by Snarkmaiden Snarkmaiden wrote:

My suspense story is a comedy. Apparently comedy-suspense is a thing!

I once wrote a horror/comedy. It kept insisting on being funny, even though I tried to tamp it down. I odn't see why suspese/comedy can't be a thing, too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote WoodyGS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Apr 2020 at 3:25am
i did ok with an assigned fantasy story that just stirred magic into otherwise-real-world drama. i love how creative you can be with the spirit of a genre when you find a way to make it follow the lead after your own voice. :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Monsieur Renard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Apr 2020 at 3:36am
I think it depends on the genre. Seems to be that fairy tale gets the most leeway here, possibly because the archetypal Brothers Grimm fairy tales are actually pretty badly written if we're all being honest with each other. 

I got comedy once and went dark comedy, the judges said it read more like a horror to them - probably a cultural thing, British dark comedy doesn't seem to translate that well over the Atlantic. 
R1 H147: Shoreditch Diamonds (1st).
R2 H19: Veritas Tremens.
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