Writer’s Boot Camp day 9

Today is about stretching,  reaching outside of your comfort zone as a writer.  Writing in different genres or formats than you normally would.

I want to start this by thinking about I write.   When it comes to fiction I write horror, fantasy and sci-fi,  or some combination of those three. I’ve done sci-fi horror (check out Treacherous Nature for “Red, in Tooth and Claw” which is a sort of sci-fi psychological thriller, maybe fantasy horror thing).  I’ve done fantasy/horror, and even some fantasy/sci-fi. The mixing of these three genres is my jam. I am also pretty good at adding stuff to them. I’ve done steampunk, which is sort of just historical sci-fi, sometimes with a touch of fantasy thrown in. I’ve written a lot of historical horror.  I do Weird Western which is fantasy in the old west. But as far as fiction goes I very seldom step outside of those entirely. I might have never written a story that takes places in the current time, with normal people doing normal things. I guess the closest I’ve come to that is something like “Dream Girl” which is still horror.

I write plenty of non-fiction, but mostly first person, journal or essay style, about my life, opinions or experiences. Lot of topics, including homesteading (which I don’t do anymore, currently), cosplay or writing.  Like I’m doing right now, this moment. Y’all, I am writing about how I write about myself writing in a post where I write about myself writing…..deep.

I write a fair amount of poetry.  My style of poetry is something best described as “whatever the fuck I feel like”.  If it appears to have a real style, that is probably purely by coincidence. I’ve seen a lot of Shakespeare, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I write in iambic pentameter sometimes, but I don’t try to, at least not in a very long time.

The book has me list out some genres I would like to try.  So far I have come up with:

  1. Cozy Mystery – I’ve been reading a lot of those recently, as a divorced woman with cats, who likes to read, cook and write every heroine in these books is a representation of me.  They are pretty much as comfortable to read as the name implies.
  2. Mystery in general -I like reading them and figuring out whodonit, but I’ve never gotten the knack of setting up the clues, leading the reader to put things together.  I tend to just throw narrative at my readers like hacky sacks. (Plot device to the face!!!!!!!!!!!, Duck! here comes a character development!)
  3. Realism – or whatever you would call a story that takes place here and now, with normal sorts of people living life.  (hmmmm….I think I would call that boring…)
  4. Literary Fiction – this is a confusing term, which might be meaningless honestly, but like porn, I guess you know it when you see it. However, I think one must first have a patron before one can write literary fiction, and maybe one requires a drug or alcohol addiction.  If anyone wants me to seriously give this a try I will require donations totaling at least $400 and half a bottle of Percocet.
  5. Youtube show scripts, because that sounds fun.
  6. Erotica – from what I can tell sex sells,  and this sort of writing makes money and isn’t super hard (hehehe get it?).  I could do it under my phone sex name.
  7. Romantic Fiction – again, this is a good money making genre from what I’ve heard.  I tried to write a romance novel about a werewolf once I think…I wonder if that is around here someplace.  
  8. Stand up Comedy-  I have tried to put together a stand of routine in the past, but not seriously,  I should give that another go. I’m super funny, and short, and odd looking. I think it could be a thing.  

The assignment is to research one of these genres for a few minutes every week and then give it a try.

20180510_135938It just so happens that I have the most recent issues of both “Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine” “ and “Mystery Scene”. Yes, I really do just have them on hand. I buy short story magazines because I like short stories and I want to keep up with the markets I would like to publish in.  I buy writer’s trade magazines because it makes me feel motivated and like a legit writer when I do it. No, I don’t ever get around to reading either, because who has time for that? I guess I mostly buy them for the much longed for Future Kitty who is a full time writer and needs these things for important businessing.

However today Present Kitty is going to use them!  Hosanna! (fyi, I always assumed this word meant “Yay!”  but in a fancy old-fashioned Biblical way. However it has something to do with praying for help, which isn’t applicable here, but I’m going to leave it because I know you wanted me to lay this knowledge down, also, because I still want it to mean “Yay!”).  

I’m going to grab a glass of water and read one mystery story and one mystery trade article.  BRB

I’m back

I read the short story “10,432 Serial Killers (in Hell)”  by Emily Devenport and a biography “The Remarkable Lives of Anthony Boucher”.  

I think I’ve read something by Emily Devenport before or listened to a podcast she was in, not sure, her name is familiar. Check out her blog, if you want to know more about her work.  The story “10,432 Serial Killer (in Hell)” was fun and charming, the main character was pretty adorable.   I enjoyed the story. This is an example of a story that makes me a little confused as the perimeters of the genre “Mystery”,  as the story told us right away who the bad guy was. Does “mystery” just mean stories involving crimes or stories told by characters who are cops or private investigators?  I’ll read another Mystery story in a day or two and see if it has anything to solve. If not, then maybe I can write in this genre without being good at actually forming a “mystery” to solve.   This was a pretty straightforward narrative with elements of fantasy and horror.

The article I read was about Anthony Boucher,  the writer, critic, and editor, who co-founded “The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction” back in the 1949 and was one of the organizers of the Mystery Writers of America.   He wrote a lot of short stories, a few novels and was involved in all parts of the mystery, sci-fi and fantasy industry in the 40s, 50s and 60s. Bouchercon, a big annual Mystery convention, is named after him.  I should go to this, as it’s in St. Petersberg this year, which wouldn’t be hard for me to get to if time, money and work allows.

At 2 hours and 9 minutes so far today.

Now I supposed to work on writing in the mystery style for 15 minutes.  I don’t even know where to start. I feel like I’m going to be staring at a blank screen for the next 15 minutes….

I actually worked on this project for over 40 minutes, because I came up with a good character.  But most of the time was spent in research, not writing. Research is a time consuming, but important part of writing.  And part of why my paid work averages less than $1 per hour income.  :-/

Wow and Hosanna!  I have been working a really long time today and I’m still not to the daily slog to work on my WIP.  Being a writer is hard.

Timer is at 3 hours and 20 minutes when I finished working on the current short story.  I was working on a pretty rough, triggery scene in my WIP.  I might have to take up the drinking or drug habit after all.

I am ready to be done today.  I’m going to edit this as fast as possible and post it.  Sorry if there are errors.

Final time today is 3 hours and 45 minutes.

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