After a brief interruption trying to be a handy-woman (which I most certainly am NOT), and failing miserably, I’m finally back on track. Life tip: make friends with people who know how to repair what you can’t.
Anyway, the biggish news I teased last post is: I have a new project! It’s a brand new story idea that hit me just after heading to bed one late late night after a road trip. Life tip #2: long drives are very helpful for coming up with the best ideas.
After tossing and turning for a while, I got up and started writing it down. Life tip #3: write EVERYTHING down!
I’m very excited about this new story because it’s a completely different genre than what I usually write. But that’s a source of intimidation for me as well.
I love historical. I’m comfortable there. If I had to pick a mystery book to read and I didn’t know anything but the genre, I’d go with historical. So it’s natural that writing historical is where I’m most at ease with myself.
However, this new story is the antithesis of historical. It’s futuristic (eek! posing what a future earth might be like!) sci-fi.
Now I enjoy futuristic sci-fi from the comfort of reading a finished book, but just hopping into the driver’s seat of things is a bit of a challenge.
So how do you drastically switch genres as a writer? I have a few ideas I’ve have been implementing already:
1) Read what you want to write. Kind of a no brainer, but switching reading lists to what you’re aiming to write is a good start. Look up the highly acclaimed books (recent and past) in the genre you’re switching to; these are the books to put ON your reading list, or at least read synopsies and excerpts of.
2) Focus on the story elements you know, and go from there. By “know”, I mean the story building technique you prefer. You’re switching from fairies to aliens, but they still ought to have character arcs, a major conflict of some sort, antagonists, etc.
3) Research. Ah, my favorite thing. (sarcasm) With my sci-fi, I’ve been looking up how the brain functions, DNA and gene information, and other random tidbits for the storyline. While these are essential for the story, they also are helping me get into the sci-fi “mood”.
4) Change up your writing perspective. If you’re used to first person limited, try switching to third person omniscient. If you’re used to past-tense, try present tense. I’m switching from my usual favorite: third person omniscient, past-tense to first person limited present-tense.
5) Fake it ’til you write it. At least, that’s my plan so far.
Any other ideas or tips for drastically switching genres? Help a girl out!