Learn Something New: Pastiche Genre

So today I learned something new. And frankly, I haven’t been learning as much as I should. I blame winter, ’cause at this point, winter better get the blame for lots of stuff (like being winter).

Anyway, today I met an author via Twitter who writes in the Pastiche Genre … which I had to do a quick search on, since it was one I wasn’t familiar with.

Wikipedia suggests:

A pastiche is a work of visual art, literature, or music that imitates the style or character of the work of one or more other artists.

Then I found this definition over at Television Tropes & Idioms

A pastiche is a work done in the style of another artist. It may reflect a single work by a single artist, or a body of work by one or more artists, or even an entire genre. The difference between a Fan Fic, which reuses characters or settings from another work, and a pastiche, is that the pastiche copies the tone and flavor of its original. A work can, of course, be both a Fan Fic and a pastiche, but pastiche is all about the style. A pastiche may be created as an homage to the original artist, or it may be intended as a gentle parody. The distinction is not important—although an exaggerated parody that did not actually reflect the style of the original would not be a pastiche. A pastiche which doesn’t show some respect for the original would be a very difficult thing to pull off. Most pastiches are created in a spirit of fun, which can often make it hard to determine whether the creator intended parody or homage—or even, possibly, both. (An exception to the just-for-fun rule is in Academia, where a pastiche may be created as a Deconstruction of the original, but such works rarely reach—or are intended for—a broad audience.) A good pastiche can be a hard thing to pull off, and many an excellent artist has crashed and burned in the attempt. Using someone else’s style is simply not an easy thing. Nevertheless, a decent pastiche is enjoyable enough for both artist and audience that there is no shortage of artists willing to give it a try.

It does sound like a lot of fun, doesn’t it? I particularly like the idea that even if it’s a satire, the work still needs to show some amount of respect for the original art. A curious thing, though, to consider writing using someone else’s style. What can you learn from the style through emulation? How do you inject your own personality into the work while staying true to the style?

Also interesting how many new genres and sub-genres and so forth the world of writing is now open to – which is a remarkable and rather amazing thing. We continue to move forward, continue to keep writing, keep learning, keep pushing. A metaphor for how writers’ today are able to make the industry fit themselves? The same way writers continue to be interested in learning as much weird stuff as we can (though it usually doesn’t start out that way … just the needs of the work), so we push our limits in our craft, our imagination, our creativity.

Actually, quite a wondrous thing, don’t you think?

Thanks for reading, and hope you’re having a great week. 🙂