Wednesday, September 6, 2017

IWSG: Something New



I don't normally jump right into the Insecure Writers Support Group post, but today I've really not got much else to talk about. My choices were to not post for September IWSG, or just fly by the seat of my pants and see what farts out.

I don't have any bragging to do as I've not really been writing, and of course since I've not been seriously writing I don't have any complaints. You know the old cliche: nothing ventured, nothing gained . . . .

This month's question is: Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing? For example, by trying a new genre you didn't think you'd be comfortable in??

My writing has surprised me from writing anything at all, to writing in a genre that I don't typically read in.  I've written flash fiction in category romance, children's, YA, Urban Fantasy; even some mystery, Noir, and sci-fi.

I've always thought I would become a horror/thriller or dark fantasy author. I consistently read in those genre's. I prefer horror and fantasy by authors such as Stephen King, Robert McCammon, Dean Koonts; Anne McCaffrey, Ann Rice, David Eddings, Stephen R Donaldson.

Zombies from The Walking Dead don't scare me nearly as much as a barbie doll with a grudge that has spent the last ten years languishing under my child's bed; or the possibility that my cheese and yogurt are plotting total annihilation of the potato salad and bacon in my fridge to save me from excess carbohydrates.

Books by authors such as Danielle Steele and Debbie McComber insult my intelligence as a human being, not just a woman; Nora Roberts/JD Robb make me feel as if I'm not living in the real world; and the tendency to anthropomorphize everything from a toaster to a hot dog has left me disgusted and paranoid of leaving anything organic or inanimate in my house alone in the dark of night.

So why was my first novel trilogy a Women's Fiction? Well, its actually four books; I was writing a character profile for my MC Amy and it sorta turned into a prequel, and there is actually a fifth novel start. But this is not a genre I typically read in, so why is it the only completed, full length novels I have been able to write?

This month's question haunts me because for several  years I've considered myself nothing more than a "hobby" writer. I've not been able to complete a story in any genre unless it was a short story or flash fiction. If I'm the only one to ever say so: I'm pretty awesome at creating worlds and characters that draw the reader into my vision; but put that into a full length novel with both overall story and character plot? Nah.

Have you written in a genre you don't read in? Do you think an author can be successful if they are an eclectic reader?

Please be sure to read posts from other IWSG participants on the linky, and also visit creator/host Alex J Cavanaugh and this month's minions: Tyrean Martinson, Tara Tyler, Raimey Gallant,  and Beverly Stowe.

Oh, and have you got your submission ready for the next IWSG anthology titled SHOW US YOUR WRITER INSECURITY? Deadline is quickly approaching.



42 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Some authors are so bad, the movie version of their books insults my intelligence.
Maybe short stories is your thing?

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I started writing short stories although I haven't done any in recent years. My first fiction was NA/YA, a genre I don't read. Not sure how that happened.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I agree with Alex. Maybe you're really a short story writer.

Pat Hatt said...

Short stories could be the way to go, never know. Yeah, some are just head meets wall, but then many like them. So I guess to each their own.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

Since you brought up horror and Stephen King...are you planning to see "It?" The early reviews look to be quite good.

Christine Rains said...

I'm like you. Years ago, I vowed never to write romance. I detested the genre. These days, while most my stories involve the paranormal, there's romance. Funny how that worked out!

Loni Townsend said...

I hear you on the romance aspect, as I've never been a fond reader of those. Hope the stories you've got pan out for you. :)

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Donna
Short stories are legitimate and if that is what speaks to you, you should pursue it. You should read George R. R. Martin. Death by horrible stuff is his specialty. As you know, I'm not much on DARK. I will say that I wouldn't mind going to my world, but I bet Martin wouldn't want to end up in Games of Thrones.
Nancy

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Donna - I think it's being brave and putting stories forward and keep putting them out there - take the risk, accept some failure before the acceptance comes along ... good luck and go do!!! Cheers Hilary

Donna B. McNicol said...

I started writing flash fiction in 2012 and loved it. I was worried I couldn't flesh out an entire novel. Well, several novels later...LOL!

Olga Godim said...

Anton Chekhov never wrote a novel. Only short stories and a few plays. You're in good company.

Juneta Key said...

Mine are short stories for now still working on novel length. Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

Chrys Fey said...

I always thought I would've published fantasy, but I'm publishing romantic-suspense. We just never know until it happens, huh? :)

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

WILD THING, decades ago I began reading almost exclusively nonfiction because just about every bit of fiction I came across written post-'50s pretty much insulted my intelligence.

~ D-FensDogG
Ferret-Faced Fascist Friends

dolorah said...

Alex: lol, yeah sometimes I feel that way about the movie too.

Diane: out of the blue, right?

Natalie: its very possible.

Pat: many like them, I think, because of short attention spans, lol.

Mike: I'd have to be convinced that the NEW movie IT is much much better than the last 4 part series that appeared on TV. The mini series sucked; but the book seriously scared me.

Christine: no book survives without at least a nod to romance.

Loni: thanks. I have three short stories to work on and submit before year's end.

Nancy; Love George RR. And no, he would not survive in one of your worlds, lol.

Hilary; I'm no stranger to failure :)

Donna B: yep, seems you found your nicht alright.

Olga: now I have to Google Anton :)

Juneta: Just like me!

Chrys: Think maybe we hooked the wrong muse?

St Mac: Well Hello SIR. Knew there was somewhere I was supposed to be last week :)

Em-Musing said...

Thanks for your comment on my IWSG blog post. I love short stories. Write them but never know what to do with them. Will you write one for the ISWG anthology?

Morgan C said...

I love short stories, I would read ones just about worlds and characters. Sometimes you don't even need a "story" in there. The place or character can be the story. :)

I am not creative and have a hard time coming up with fiction. I can go on and on about travel, education and scientific findings and facts though.

Suzanne Furness said...

I started off with short stories, then tried women's contemporary and really found my feet with MG! So, a few surprises along the way. Keep going with the writing whichever genre/length you decide is for you.

Raimey Gallant said...

My lips are sealed on which famous authors drive me bananas. :)

Diane Burton said...

Finding a form you like to write takes lots of try-outs. Same with genres. When something feels right, you'll know. Then go for it. Good luck.

dolorah said...

Em: I will.

Morgan: I've always enjoyed an awesome setting and characters I can connect to.

Suzanne: writing is a journey. May not always enjoy the places we go, but sure love the experience.

Raimy: lol

Diane: I am definitely "trying out" everything, lol.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Donna, you have written in a lot of genres. I feel short stories and flash fiction is your forte.

P.S. my area didn't get flooded in the rains though several areas in Bangalore did :(

Patsy said...

Having no writing complaints sounds tempting - but not if the only way to achieve it is not to write and therefore have no chance of gaining bragging rights!

Donna K. Weaver said...

Stetching ourselves isn't a bad thing. Writing romance shouldn't be an insult to your intelligence either. ;)

Anne McCaffrey is one of my inspirations.

Carol Kilgore said...

When I first started writing fiction, I wrote short mystery stories. Most of them were quite dark. Noir and noirish. I couldn't let go of one of them, and kept picking at it until it turned into a novel. I much prefer novels, both reading and writing, but I know many successful short story writers who never or rarely attempt novels. I write in the genre I mostly read, but I do read across all genres. I'd say listen to your heart and your gut and see where that takes you.

Sandra Cox said...

I believe short stories will continue to rise in popularity. Everyone is so busy today that they don't have as much time to read but they still want their fix. Good luck with whatever length you decide on. You've got a snappy, interest-holding style:)

cleemckenzie said...

I wonder what makes us jump into this business of writing in the first place. It's fraught with all kinds of ego pitfalls and sheer drudgery. Maybe we're all masochists at heart. :-)

Anyway, I was thinking of you up there in Oroville. Were you near the fires? We got a good dose of smoke down here.

Chemist Ken said...

I would never be good as a dark fantasy author. I just wouldn't be able to maintain the darkness. I have to use humor to keep my stories going.

Glad you found what works for you.

Donna B. McNicol said...

OOOP! Forgot to mention in my comment above...

You and your blog have been nominated by me for the Liebster Blog Award. Check it out:

My post: https://dbmcnicol.blogspot.com/2017/09/blog-awards-and-thank-you.html

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I write romance but only read a little of it. I read everything else.

Nicki Elson said...

There's nothing wrong with a specialty in short stories. But yeah, I get that there's an underlying pressure to complete a full novel.

Being an eclectic reader probably helps you put a different spin on the genres you write in. I kind of feel like I'll never be a monetarily successful writer of romance because I don't generally cotton to the genre as a whole - it's not what I usually read, and I scratch my head trying to identify the appeal of the best sellers.

Patricia Lynne said...

I like short stories and the fact that authors can do them and get them published easier is great. I can read a full story in one sitting. Sometimes I read in one sitting and there goes my days, and other times, I start a book, put it down and never finish. Be proud of your short stories because there is an audience for them.

Nick Wilford said...

I think the more genres you read the better, we can gain inspiration from anywhere.

Tamara Narayan said...

I didn't read much in the historical genre, but that's what I ended up writing. I did try the supernatural for my first novel, but I gave up on querying that sucker after a couple of years. It was high time to move on.

Cherie Reich said...

I do think authors can be successful if they're eclectic readers. Or I hope so because I don't read the same genre all the time. Sometimes a story we need to tell will fall into genres we don't always read. It happens. :)

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

That's what's so great about being a writer. We can write whatever we want, short stories or long. Fun or scary. For adults or kids. Love your post. Thanks

Michelle Gregory said...

when i was writing (how long ago was that?) i wrote fantasy. when i finally get back to writing, i'll still write fantasy, but i never read fantasy. the stuff that's out there doesn't interest me. i mostly read Christian Historical Fiction (because i love a good love story with strong female characters and happy endings), but i would never write it because it takes too much research. i used to read Debbie Macomber's stuff, but every story is the same, and they're too fluffy. i am, however, a sucker for Hallmark movies because problems are solved in 2 hours and there are always happy endings.

A Beer For The Shower said...

Like you, I always thought I'd just be a horror writer, but the more I experiment with other genres, the more I find that I don't want to be nailed down to one certain genre. And I'm with you - zombies aren't scary. They're slow, mildly annoying, and easy to kill. But a creepy doll that's never where you think it's supposed to be... what the hell do you even do to stop that?

Ellie Garratt said...

See what farts out made me laugh. A lot of my blog posts come out that way!

Have I ever written anything that surprised me? Yes. Even though I'd written in the horror genre, my serial killer short story did surprise me. It was graphic and shocked a few of my friends when they read it. What surprised me was how easy it came out. Perhaps there's any inner psycho in me?

Like you, I haven't yet successfully moved to novel-length fiction. I often wonder if that's because I'm not made for it. Perhaps short or episodic fiction is where our talent lies?

Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar! said...

Hi human, Donna,

I'm dreadfully late in getting here. Have to keep taking my human dad out for walks.

Writing in a variety of genres stimulates the creative juices. Pawsonally, I rather enjoy short story writing. Besides, it's easier on my paws when attempting to type. As for "flash" fiction, found out what it actually is.

Thanks for your pawst, my nice human friend.

Pawsitive wishes,

Penny 🐶

Deniz Bevan said...

GOod luck on your short story submissions!!

roth phallyka said...

Maybe short stories is your thing?


เกย์