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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Out of Our Comfort Zones?

Hi from the willow tree,
We’ve all heard to read outside of our genre-our comfort zone.
I agree and have done that. Some I enjoyed and some were difficult to get through. I learned a lesson about this from my thirteen year old grandson. He has been telling me for over a year to read “The Hunger Games.” I thought it was a kid’s book and ignored him until I saw the movie trailer. I grabbed the book and finished it in less than five days. I then was thankful for e-books and being able to download the second book at 11pm on a Sunday night because I had to read more. I am happily in the midst of the second book now. I thought about how many times I have read outside my genre-mystery-because of my grandkids. My grandson introduced me to Percy Jackson, my granddaughter to Harry Potter and Twilight. The lesson here is listen to others in your life that read what you never thought you’d enjoy and don’t ignore the kids.
I began to think if reading outside our genre is important, why not writing. Most of us will not write a novel in every genre, but we can try to write 250 or 500 words or time ourselves for fifteen minutes and see what we come up with. You will build strengths you never knew you had. Describe a monster in a futuristic world, writing a love scene, maybe a wild western or a historical piece, trying your hand at YA paranormal, or a sci-fi story, an adventure story, a piece of fantasy, a heart pounding action scene, a children’s story, even poetry. The possibilities are endless. Then try some techniques you may not have tried before. Write a piece of flash fiction or micro fiction. The 100 word micro fiction was difficult at first, but it can be done. My next exercise is a 50 word piece. Try your hand at these different genres. You will discover hidden talents and enjoyment I am sure. Share these pieces with your critique partner or beta reader and ask them to do the same. You’ll also learn from their creations.
One exercise I found challenging was to describe my novel in five words. Five? No Way! Okay, I thought a while and decided I knew “Gypsy Spirits” well enough to do that and came up with Spirits? Madness? Which haunt Daniel? Leave me a comment with your five words and your novel’s title. Also be sure to let me know when it is published. I’ll be sure to mention it.
Happy Writing-Blessings,

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