Welcome to the monthly Insecure Writer’s Support Group post. This month’s question is the following:
Are you a risk-taker when writing? Do you try something radically different in style/POV/etc. or add controversial topics to your work?
I don’t know if I am a risk taker, as such. I like to play around with forms and styles. I have written stories in first and third person, past and present tense. Some styles work for certain stories; others do not. In the past I have written fantasy, science fiction, horror, westerns, and literary fiction. Again, some worked better than others. In particular, I went through a phase of writing literary short stories where around 2,000 words in Cthulhu would show up, despite my best efforts to keep the story from heading in that direction.
For me, memoir involves more risk because in order to be effective it must dig into places which I am not always willing to uncover. For example, a few years ago, for NaNoWriMo I set out to write a series of short stories, and as a warm-up exercise I wrote a short piece about the toxic people in my life. That short piece turned into 18,000 words, all written on November 1. I was an angry, bitter emotional wreck for days after. On a positive note, I was far enough ahead in my word count that I could take a couple of days off of writing in order to recover from the experience.
I don’t touch much on controversial topics, other than possibly equity, empathy and compassion, which are controversial topics in a society where sadism seems to be the national pastime.
So I suppose the risk-taking lies in trying something new which may or may not work. Either way, I have broadened my horizons and (hopefully) improved my craft.
Thank you for reading this answer, and thank you (and hello!) to the members of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group who find their way to my humble blog.
The Insecure Writer’s Support Group
is a community dedicated to encouraging
and supporting insecure writers
in all phases of their careers.