The Writing Life: Trying New Things

For those of you who know me (or have read the “About Me” section of this site) you will know I typically write Fantasy, Science Fiction and YA Adventure.  You would also probably know that I prefer to write novels over short stories.  But is that the limit to my creativity?  Am I a one (or in this case three) trick pony?

I certainly hope not.

I like to try new things.  For example, I’ve always wanted to write humor.  Specific to humor, I’ve always loved “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”.  Not the movie or old BBC episodes, but the books themselves.  I used to read the Guide at least once per year, usually when I was in a funk.  It always pulled me out of the bad mood and helped me see the fun in the world around me.

Do I believe I can do justice to the genre?  I’m certainly no Terry Pratchett (not yet anyway), but I shouldn’t let that hold me back.  Even Terry Pratchett wasn’t as funny in his early books as he is now.  Like all other writing, practice makes perfect.

But it’s out of my comfort zone and therefore scary.  Maybe I should avoid it?  Maybe not.  If it is scary, it is worth doing if for no other reason than to challenge myself.  The results could be good.

Last year (in March) I decided to challenge myself with a 30-in-30 day short story self challenge.  The challenge was to write 30 short stories in 30 days.  I was amazed at the end of the month when I had stories that covered genres I had never EVER considered writing in.  Horror, erotica, mystery.  I was amazed by what I accomplished.

If I hadn’t challenged myself, I never would have known I could do it.  Even if every one of the stories was garbage (and I don’t believe that to be the case) it was worth it.

So, with a bit of fear I’m preparing for my next writing project.  It will have two elements that I have never done (at least not purposely):  writing comedy and writing a weekly serial.  I’ve listened to several serials that I have enjoyed a great deal.  Two immediately come to mind:  “The Takeover” by Mur Lafferty and friends and “Down the Road” by Jack Jaffee.  Both serials are written episode to episode and both were podcast and both were very enjoyable.

That’s what I want to do.  I will write and podcast a comedy serial by mid-year.  I won’t plan beyond the current episode and I will try to have a lot of fun with it.  I hope it turns out the way I hope it does.  The reason for this approach is central to my love of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”.  When Douglas Adams wrote it for radio broadcast, he didn’t know from one week to the next what was going to happen.  The result is a wonderful, disjointed mess that is a wonderful frolic to read.  That’s what I want too.

Am I a fan of trying new things?  I guess I could say I am in the same way that I’m a fan of walking up to strangers and introducing myself.  Both things are frightening and both can have great, positive results.

Personal Update

I had a fantastic editing weekend last weekend.  I managed to get another 10,000 words worth of editing and new material done.  That leaves me with 8,000 words of editing/rewriting to complete and the major rework of “The Goddess Renewed” is done.  To say I’m happy about this is a major understatement.  This has been the biggest writing project of my life for several years and I just want to get it done the way it needs to be done and off my plate.

I’m also writing/recording episode two of “Get Published”.  I was a bit too stiff and afraid of the microphone in the first episode.  Hopefully this one will be more fun.

Have a great week!


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