Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Take a break from your comfort zone.

I am a very certain type of writer; I'm clear as to what I DON'T DO. I like certainties, and I like my very comfortable comfort zone. However, I've challenged myself to go a little wild and write a short story for as many different genres as I can in 6 months. (shortstory = something I'd never actually done until last month - as "I don't do shorts!")

I've found this challenge to be a surprising source of creative energy. It all started with an entry into the #cannibalcookoff @indiehorror's blog. The title of the piece is 'The Venus Club'; a 5,000 word tale about a secret society of lady cannibals wh live and dine in Victorian London . I discovered immediately that I got a real kick out of structuring a short story and the disciplines involved in keeping a word count under control, and yet still creating complex characters and plot. 'The Venus Club' = Horror genre - TICKED.

Second, came a go at Speculative fiction piece, a 5,000 short based on the idea that the human race had slowly dwindled (to give the reason would be a *spoiler*!) and was being supported by ARTs Artificial, Robotic Transforms. 'Inverse Fall' = Sci-Fi - TICKED.
Thirdly, on some crazy creative wave, I wrote a 10,000 short, epic fantasy (loving that oxymoron) set against the backdrop of Medieval tyranny and reworking of a classic fairytale. 'The Ice Princess' = Epic Fantasy - TICKED.

What this exercise has done for me so far, is given me a real mental and creative workout. I've explored; new sentence structures, vocabulary, imagery and characterisation; all of which are now influencing my edit of #2 of The Knight Trilogy, 'Immortal Beloved'. It's worked my skills and already I can see that my writing is stronger for it.
Also as a result, I have the outline of a new Young Adult novel called 'Beautiful Freaks', for which I already have a 15,000 word count and a wonderful group of critical writer friends who are critiquing it as I go. http://www.beautifulfreaks.weebly.com/

So what next? Well, in no particular order I'm going to go for; Steam punk, psychological crime, memoir and romance - and I can't wait to know what discoveries I'm going to make.

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