Digging Into Hyper-Specific Sub-Genres

a roundup

Hello! It’s been a while.

Two weeks ago I finished my current writing project and submitted it to competitions and it was a bit of a journey getting there, but I did it! I was very excited but also exhausted hence the silence on this front. But I’m recovering and regaining my creative drive, and will soon dive into the next project, as is my cycle.

Speaking of my next project… What genre should it be? I have accepted the fact that I’m a genre writer, and there are so many delicious genres to choose from. I can’t wait to dig into the world-building and scenery and feel of a new project, but I’m having a hard time deciding, especially as I adore digging into hyper-specific sub-genres. Help me choose! Reply to this email with the your choice from the following:

  1. Paranormal Western/Horror (most likely period piece as well)

  2. Dystopian Neo-Noir/Surrealism

  3. Adventure Period Piece/Adaptation

  4. American Gothic/Folk Macabre/Magical Realism

  5. Other (but you have to name the genre in question and provide me with examples)

Granted, I’ll ultimately go with whatever idea takes me through the dreaded plotting stage, but I am curious to see what people are interested in and would love the feedback (bonus points if you can provide me with compelling images or examples for the genre of your choice).

As I’m no longer writing during my every free second, I’m once again consuming art and media! And there have been many things that I have found delightful:

In Theaters:

Long Shot was a delight! I was surprised by the amount of chemistry between Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron, and laughed out loud consistently. My biggest concern with this going in is that it would devolve into repeating the “schlub gets the beautiful girl” trope, but I was pleasantly surprised that it was more about two people who are genuinely attracted to each other, personality first. It does have the pitfalls of a romantic comedy, including a weak third act— as well as some gross-out humor from Rogen— so I recommend it with a caveat, but honestly I felt it was worth the ticket price just to watch the fake Fox-News-esque bits.

Streaming:

Ghost Stories made me scream! Another film with a strange third act but if you, like me, are in it primarily for the mis-en-scene and overall feel then this one is for you. This little horror movie sort of flew under the radar here in the states, but it is now available to stream on Hulu. The “ghost stories” proper are definitely the best part of the film, building effective horror within 15-20 minutes. I wish that it had simply been an anthology, but the scares continue to be creative and chilling up until the end.

Reading:

“My Cousin Was My Hero. Until the Day He Tried to Kill Me.” This long read from NYT absolutely stunned me. It’s a look at toxic masculinity and how it can tear people apart, expertly written.

Listening:

I’m very late to this, but The Dropout is a completely binge-able ride, which is good because I’ve been caught up on Reply All for so long that I have been low on Podcast content. The story of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos is chilling for so many reasons— mostly the lives at stake— but what was most fascinating to me was how it implicitly explores women and power dynamics. Let’s just say that Holmes’ look, voice, and dynamic were extremely calculated.

I’ve also been enjoying the band The Devil Makes Three. The Americana trio performs tight, moody songs that have made me want to head up into the mountains and think about my mistakes I while drink whiskey, my face covered in dirt, and stare out into the wilderness with my brow furrowed like Clint Eastwood’s.

Looking (? Viewing? Seeing?)

I’ve been working on a low-key update of my living area, which has included some new art! And while I wish I could commission or purchase original art, I am currently incapable, so instead I bought some postcards from artists via Redbubble and am putting them in frames I bought at the thrift store. Going through the prints at Redbubble was super fun, especially because I was able to buy stuff related to my favorite films while not going so far as to have a poster up, as my aesthetic tends to be softer and more subtle than that (my only movie poster is of Mission: Impossible - Fallout, which is in my closet, I guess you could say I’m a closet fan lol ok I’ll stop).

Here are a few I ended up getting:

“Paradise” by Daletheskater

“Tatooine Sky” by yellowdust

“Close Encounters of the Third Kind” by Kelathorn

“Kermit the Frog” by megasilly

Anyway, that’s it for now! Don’t forget to vote (just reply to this email):

  1. Paranormal Western/Horror (most likely period piece as well)

  2. Dystopian Neo-Noir/Surrealism

  3. Adventure Period Piece/Adaptation

  4. American Gothic/Folk Macabre/Magical Realism

  5. Other (but you have to name the genre in question and provide me with examples)