Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Descendants: A Lesson in Cross-Genre Writing

Harmonic blending of genres
If you're looking for a great visual lesson on how to blend genres particularly creative nonfiction and memoir see The Descendants, a film based on the debut novel of the same name by Kaui Hart Hemmings and directed by Alexander Payne, starring George Clooney. Hemmings' Hawaiian upbringing and experience, along with her Sarah Lawrence education, underpin the story. The work blends several plotlines — the apparently unraveling personal life of main character Matt King, played by Clooney, and the impending sale of a vast chunk of legacy land owned by King's extensive haole family. What's particularly instructive about the movie is the seamless blending of the storylines, which presents a good approach to cross-genre work — assigning one plot line per genre.

If you see the film, let me know what you think.

Happy writing! 

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