Posted by: victanguera | May 24, 2011

Mashing it Up: Writing Prompt #333

This weekend, my son and I went to see the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie. It included mermaids. But with a bit of a twist (which I won’t give away, in case others want to see the movie).

That got me thinking about combinations, either within or across genres. Some is already done, like combining mystery with paranormal. Romance with… anything that moves.

So for today’s prompt, think about innovative ways to combine genre elements. Werewolves with hydras? Murder mystery with science fiction? Think about little and surprising ways to put things together. As an exercise, it can help explore what we know about certain genres.

And who knows. Maybe you’ll come up with the next big thing. Cowboys & Aliens anyone?



  1. The stories I’m writing now are mysteries set in a magical realist world, but I’ve found that the mysteries work better if I dial back the magical elements. So they’re there, but I don’t emphasize them, and they are never vital to the mystery and the solution. After all, mysteries are based on the fact that the world has rules and limits (locked room mysteries don’t work if people can move through walls, for example). Three recurring characters are apparently not human, but that’s more of a character detail than a vital part of the story.

    • I like the idea of magical realism and mystery. But then I’m partial to magical realism.

  2. Well, you might enjoy this, then.

    (Hope you like it.)

  3. Good flick and good idea, You could combine moles and gnomes to turn a story fantasy. A rabbit with hole has already been done but other dens might be useful. A bears hibernation probably could be interesting. I have always wondered who made unicorns sweet and girly. Its a warhorse with a horn, what’s more phallic than that? I don’t see a whole lot of sweet things with horns in nature that are kind and docile. What if I combine a unicorn with a nightmare. It could be coal black and the horn could glow light embers in the dark. Yeah, I like that idea and it should be called a nightfire.

    Keep up the good work. You got me going again.

    • Diana Peterfruend’s book Unicorns: Rampant, is about killer unicorns. I haven’t read it, so don’t know what it is like. Mole-like gnomes–hum that’s a good idea.

  4. Huh. Thanks to his post I’m giving serious consideration to bumping up the age of characters in a story [again; I swear they’ll be in an old folks home by the time I finish it] if only for tentacled monster/mummy fun.

    • A cthulhu mummy. I say go for it. We all need more cthulhu in our lives.

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