Create a One of a Kind Mash-up Novel : A Complete Guide
Have you ever heard of a song mash-up? Well, if you have, you know what the term "mash-up" means: It is exactly the same concept when used to describe novels.
A mash-up novel is, in essence, a part of the extensive amount of literary genres present across the globe. Simply put, it is taking two different styles of writing and mashing them together!
But how did mash-ups become so popular? Well, when the hit television series Glee hit our screens, they would often take two songs from different time periods and merge them together to make a more hip and current song!
Think of it as adding a fresh twist to something that has gone a bit stale.
Mash-ups have been around and used across different avenues of our lives. Think about the perfect cocktail. That in itself is a mix of different types of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. The result? A tasty party drink!
How to Make the Perfect Mashup Novel Containing Multiple Literary Genres?
Let's bring the concept back to novels. When you take two different genres of literature, merge them together, and tweak things here and there, you will most likely get an immensely entertaining story!
This entire concept of "novel mash-ups" was set in motion by Seth Grahame Smith, who is well known for mashing up the likes of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. He even went a bit further to produce Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. The latter was even made into a movie!
But you don't necessarily need to take two genres and place them together. You could simply intertwine two different storylines together and establish a new plot!
Basically, to become a legend like Grahame Smith, you need elements borrowed from different books, one of which is often a classic work.
So, to write your first novel in this genre, you need to first select two data sources, preferably ones that you enjoy, and try to mesh them together. Usually, you would try a parody approach.
Imagine if a hoard of monsters decided to gate-crash the moment Othello was stifling Desdemona. I would read that type of humor any day!
You want to make sure that you research your topics to the point of exhaustion. Understand their themes, their types of humor (if any), and how they are written.
You want your reader to still have accurate details of information before you merge two different worlds into a single one.
Making sure to read a lot of different books will give you inspiration to see how one popular genre may superimpose another. Just look at how Vampire Hunter superimposes Pride and Prejudice. Nobody would ever have seen that mash-up coming!
Some Examples of Literary Genre Mash-ups
Ever since the debut of Scary Movie comedy has never been the same again. From eerie adventures to pranking historical figures, the Scary Movie series took an array of different fictional texts and turned them into an alternative version of comedy that left us gasping for air from laughter.
But let's delve into some novel mash-ups that readers have grown rather fond of.
Pride and Prejudice, Written by Jane Austen Mashed Up With Zombies
We all know the famous classic by Jane Austen. But what if it took a bit of a science fiction twist and became what many would now call "quirk classics?" Well, that is exactly what happened. Or how the book publishing house Quirk Books decided to coin the masterpiece!
Imagine reading the opening line as "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains." You would have no idea what is coming from that novel!
Just imagine Mrs. Bennet all head over heels with a rifle, shooting a bunch of zombies. How "improper" of her!
After all, the work of Jane Austen mixed with a zombie character or two became a new category of popular culture, one where a different domain of fiction allowed characters the opportunity to create their own story. How is that for creating original works?
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Although fictional texts are what have made up most of today's mash-up novels, other works like Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter superimpose both historical figures and fictional events. This gives a completely new meaning to the words "mash-up books."
This eerie adventure wanted to take the original text and portray this published classic in a style that would mix together both parody and historical knowledge. After all, this is what Jennifer Schuessler alluded to when combating the pessimists against this genre.
After all, if it weren't for this mash-up novel, Robinson Crusoe wouldn't have had the idea to write The Eerie Adventures of the Lycanthrope. Not to mention that Crusoe, the mash-up artist that he is, used a page to dedicate the novel to three authors, namely, Daniel Defoe, Peter Clines, and H.P. Lovecraft.
Other Perfect Examples of a Fiction Mashup Novel
With Grahame Smith and his success with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, many different authors had hope that they too could enter the prestigious domain of published mash-up books.
This led to the creation of titles that also included other members of the historical fandom! An example of this is Queen Victoria: Demon Hunter. After all, imagine the Queen with her group of little women on a journey to hunt down a good few demons.
This is exactly how it spent eight months on the New York Times best-seller list. It sounds like Quirk Books should've gotten their hands on this novel too!
Android Karenina was another notable masterpiece, combining steampunk elements of the tech world with the Russian environment of Anna Karenina in the 19th century.
If you ask us, Seth Grahame Smith could have maybe had an even better storyline had he included a bit more "tech world" aspects. But that is just our opinion.
Does It Always Need Science Fiction?
The short answer is no. With a mash-up having the ability to literally include anything, any genre can make the cut.
But there is a reason most authors prefer to put some science-based elements of fiction into the mix. It is because you can make the plot sound so ridiculous and out of this world because what you include in your mash-up already doesn't exist.
Most authors try their best to include more recent phenomenon in their mash-ups. After all, writing your favorite titles on a page and seeing which one's link is how every well-renowned mash-up product began.
Where to Publish This Genre of Novel?
Other than Quirk Books, there are a bunch of other publishing houses that will take on this type of fiction novel genre. But the writing needs to be enjoyed by readers!
Robinson Crusoe, Adam Cohen, and Grahame Smith all focused purely on the humor factor of their novels before writing any specifics about their characters. In this genre, you need to have a vision for your end result. The way that you get there needs to be both funny and unique!
Penguin Random House and Europe Books are a few other examples of publishing houses that will help you publish your novel, irrespective of which genre types are included. But, just to be safe, go with a publishing house that is known for its work.
Yes, we are promoting Quirk Books, but only because we know they have a phenomenal track record! If you want to check out other publishing houses, follow the external links on the first page of a Google search.
Advice on What to Combine?
Now, we know we said that science-based fiction doesn't have to be in all of your mash-up novels, but including it isn't the end of the world.
Jane Austen may not have lived to see her beloved Pride and Prejudice live up to its true potential. But we are so glad that a zombie or two could make an appearance amongst all the strife of finding a suitable companion!
Zombies and mummies are the two main science fiction character types that are included in the genre as a whole. Why not throw them with a book seen as prehistoric and see what new journey of fiction will be birthed?
Who knows, you may even stumble upon a completely new genre of a novel! Whether it includes elements of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies will be completely up to you!
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has paved the way to mash up anything and everything! But what if you allow your pride to get in your way while making the perfect novel? Well, that is where we at The Urban Writers come in!
We have the perfect team available to write your work so that it reaches even greater heights than Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and possibly even better than the original Pride and Prejudice! Yes, that is how much we believe in our team!
We will make sure that it is even up to the standards of Quirk Books. You know, so that you can make sure your work is published! So, what are you waiting for? Get in touch with a member of our team today!