Before we start, I hope everyone noticed that the title of this post rhymes.
It wasn’t intentional (originally), but I did it, so I needed everyone to appreciate my skills. Okay, now that’s out of the way, welcome to a brand-spanking new week everyone! There’s been a lot happening in the world: to everyone who participated in the Women’s Marches all around the world (there was a march on every continent! How cool is that?), you’re awesome. Regardless of what your political leanings are, those marches that took place over the weekend are an incredible feat of solidarity, and are a sign of a societal promise to work for change which I hope is indicative of a growing trend of people to stand up, not only for what they believe in, but for others who need to have their voices heard. If nothing else, recent and ongoing political events are giving us the opportunity—not just as women, but as human beings of all races, creeds and colours, all across the globe—to take a stand for what matters to us. To fight for what we believe is right… And that is awesome. So, onto the writing business!
Like I mentioned last week, I’ve been participating in Fiction War’s Winter 2017 competition. The prompt was released on Friday at 1200 and was a fairly simple one this time around: ‘Grimm’s Fairy Tales’. But, despite seemingly being a bit of a simple one (yes, I can hear all of you at the back, shouting down at me that obviously just chill out and write a badass fairy tale), I found myself a little stumped. Part of the challenge of writing competitions is the challenge of avoiding writing anything that might be perceived as predictable in response to prompts [Disclaimer: I’ve read two other entries for this competition, both of which were fairy tales or fairy tale variations & were amazing, so don’t think I’m hating on people who wrote fairy tales!]. The other part is that I was, quite simply, stumped. I ended up with something I’m pretty happy with, but it got me to thinking about what my natural predilections are as a writer.
As I’ve mentioned countless times before, I’m a fan of experimentation in writing, and forcing myself to try different things in order to pursue creative growth. At the moment, I’m writing two (loosely) speculative fiction pieces, a literary fiction novella, a science-fiction novella and looking at putting together a few more varied competition entries. One huge bonus of trying different genres and approaches in my writing is that I find myself constantly struggling with different challenges, but it also means that when I allow myself to just write, it becomes somewhat more self-evident what my natural inclination is. Though I love that I’ve written a YA fantasy novel (and have a number of other fantasy ideas), the more of these kinds of writing competitions I partake in, the more I find myself defaulting to ‘literary fiction’ stories. A focus on the human condition is inherently attractive to most writers, I think. Certainly, some writers choose to portray this same interest, be it commentary or observations in genre works, while others pursue literary fiction.
I’m finding more and more that, given free-rein, I choose to write literary fiction-esque pieces, which is fascinating to me. I obviously still think it’s really important for writers to explore different genres and types of writing, but I’d love to hear if anyone else finds themselves defaulting to a particular genre?