And so I find time to write.
Awhile back I said a challenge for me would be to write anything other than what I’m comfortable with writing, which is and always has been the Romance in any form other than historical.
Today I went ahead and signed up for WP’s Writer 101 Challenge thing, which I believe starts later this week or early next week, I don’t remember, and I’m already in anxiety mode about it because even today I struggled with a topic for this blog. A few years ago I did something similar with a 365 Photo Post blog that ended exactly as I had predicted – failure to complete the assignment after approximately 37 days.
Here’s hoping this latest decision to remain faithful pans out this time.
Yesterday, I went out into the real world and spent some time browsing delightfully over all of the used books for sale at our local library’s annual book fair.
What fun! Yet, on my nil budget, it quickly became not so much fun when desiring to fill up a brown bag with everything I wanted to read limited me severely. I had exactly one dollar to spare on this pleasure, but luckily the Romance paperbacks went for .25c each. I found 2 and then splurged on a .50c Fiction. There went my $1.
The fiction book was more of a learning tool I found interesting and figured could be helpful in my writing since it was written for wanna-be Witches. How to cast spells, when to cast them, and what to use to make them. Creative names for your new profession, what to wear at certain times of the year, or when you decide to casts those spells you’ve learned to conjure up using whatever ingredients that particular spell requires in order for it to work.
No, my secret plan isn’t to become a witch, but I do plan to write with witches, spells, and all things “Double, double, Toil and Trouble / parties burn and Nonsense bubble.” (Shakespeare’s Macbeth) in mind. It’s good to know these things the same way it’s good to know an era and its customs when trying to delve into the complicated world of Historical Romantic Fiction – and one reason why I’ve no desire to dip a toe in those waters … just yet, anyway.
Getting back to the library’s annual sale. I chose one Romance by a familiar and favorite author and another by someone new. Someone I’d never read before but kind of thought the synopsis sounded interesting. I could have stuck with the familiar authors I’m already fond of, but it would defeat my purpose of deliberately branching out in order to strengthen my own writing.
Reading a variety of writing helps with perspective, genre formulas I’m never particularly fond of adhering to yet am not stubborn enough to ignore their value and importance in my own work, and even to learn new ways to tackle old conflict/resolution aspects that are a part of that genre.
Yes, I read WHILE I write. I’m not afraid of absentmindedly inflecting another author’s style, concepts, or even bit parts of their stories into my own work. It hasn’t happened yet, and I doubt it ever will because of my keen awareness of that fact at every step in the writing process.
In fact, I’ve even gone so far as to search online for writing that would in any way resemble something I’m working on. I feel I haven’t read enough to prevent something like that from occurring. The same way I search online for possible titles that are already in use.
This is actually fun to do – opening Goodreads or another online eBook website – spending countless hours reading one synopsis after the other in the genre I’m working on at the moment, looking for anything that might show parallels, similarities, and even sometimes identical character names with my own work.
Watching a heaping helping of Asian drama works the same way for me. There is always something new thrown in their increasingly old-hat stories, and there are just as many situations where I think it could have been written better, or with a different outcome … another, less predictable reason for the conflict to have arisen, and for a completely non-stale, more original idea of reaching a much better, more plausible resolution.
These two methods of searching for overlapping story lines ends up being a great way to do research, get your creative juices flowing, and to bounce their ideas off mine so that I’m able to give birth to something new and refreshing and unexpected – that hasn’t already been written.
Back to the fair. While spending a little over an hour pouring over each and every book offered, I came across a story in the Mystery section that grabbed me right away. From the cover to the synopsis on the back, I had this instinctive feeling that this was the one I should buy and read. It had every element that attracts my attention, which is rather shallow, I’ll admit. Hot guy on the cover, in a purplish hue, and reading that the woman who conjured him up see’s him rising from a thick, Irish mist, and … he’s naked.
What more do I possibly need in the convincing department to help further coax me into buying something this … exhilarating?
No, though. After careful and slightly agonizing deliberation, I couldn’t bear to part with the books I’d already selected, and since I didn’t have the added .50c, I jotted down the pertinent info and will check it out at said library when I’m finished reading the other two novels.
So … that was my weekend, and this is my Sunday post. 😀