Merrilee Faber from Not Enough Words is running a free three month Creativity Workshop for writers who want to stretch themselves and explore new avenues.
Being a big fan of self-reflection, I was very much tempted to take part, but given my already existing commitments (Above Ground and DarkSight), I’ve decided to sit this one out and join in on the fun if and when I can.
The first part of the workshop is to identify what areas of writing you would like to improve on. Merrilee has led the discussion by posting her own issues and interests, and her post intrigued me enough to want to do the same.
These are some areas of writing that I would like to explore a little further, in no particular order:
• Realistic genres
I think nearly everything I’ve written would fall into the broad speculative genre category, tending towards fantasy and/or light science fiction. Most include some element of magic or of the supernatural. It would be interesting to challenge myself and write something “real” — a story without these speculative elements.
• First person
As a young teen I used to write loads in first person — then came the stunning realization that everything I was writing was (badly written) wish fulfilment and I left first person behind me. I always feel it sounds silly or ‘unprofessional’ when I write it, even though I enjoy reading stories in first person. I should really get over this block and experiment more.
• Protagonists who are not like me
I started writing a long list of issues, and then realized half could be combined using the above sentence. It sounds bad, I know, but I don’t mean my protagonists are me — character-wise they’re often quite different — but there are certain aspects I pick without even thinking about it.
» Most of my protagonists are women. I’ve written the occasional short story from a male point of view, but the longer pieces which I put my heart and soul into have a female main character.
» Most of my characters are between the ages of 20 – 35. Characters outside that range tend to play much smaller roles in my stories — it would be interesting to have either a very young or very old main character.
» Lastly, my characters are ordinary people facing extraordinary events, with none of this “chosen one” business. I’ve never written from the point of view of a hero. Likewise, I’ve never written from the point of view of a villain. I can’t believe it. Of course, none of my stories have a clear-cut “bad guy” but still! Definitely something to explore.
That’s all I can think of for now. Who knows — maybe I’ll manage to churn out a couple #fridayflash pieces in my attempts to explore the issues I’ve listed above.
Is there anything you’d like to explore more in your writing?
If you want to join in on the Creativity Workshop, sign ups are free and close April 30th. Learn more here.