This post was written specifically for the #AuthorToolboxBlogHop.
One thing that I think is important for growth as an artist is to keep challenging yourself. One obvious example of this is NaNoWriMo, to help you push your productivity. Another is to become part of a writer’s group, to share your work and accept critiques.
For some of us, it’s very easy to set self-imposed barriers on ourselves, saying things like “I can’t write this” or “I don’t know how to do that”. So what I’m going to talk about today are some simple methods to experiment with your writing. And since I can’t think of a better way to do it, I’ll explain them by describing my own attempts. Apologies in advance.
• Try writing different genres.
My writing project, my House Valerius series is best described as urban fantasy. So while that’s the genre I probably work in the most, I like to try small pieces in others. So far I’ve tried some in fantasy, science fiction, horror and crime. I would also like to try my hand at a mystery story (possibly noirish) since I think that might help me with my plotting skills.
• Try writing from different POV’s.
The next thing to try would be to write using different points of view. Since my series is all first person from the perspective of my main character, every so often I feel like I want to try writing someone else for a change. Obviously, doing the different genres lets me explore different perspectives. But, the fact that I was doing the series in first-person also meant there were stories in my world that I couldn’t tell. So I started writing those, using some of my supporting characters; male, female, human and Ceteri, and ranging in times from Rome before the Christian Era to the old West to Vietnam.
•Try writing in different styles.
In addition to the different view points, one thing I’m trying to do with the stories mentioned above is try some other ways of writing. While some are straight forward third-person, one is an attempt to do an epistolary story, told as a series of diary entries. I was also intending to try doing one without any dialogue at all, although I will admit to being a bit intimidated by that one.
Of course, these are just some admittedly rather obvious ideas, based solely on my limited experience. And, like any experiments, you can’t expect to get it right first time. I know I haven’t. Just remember, it’s the doing and the learning that are important.
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