History That Never Was

Home of Dawn Vogel: Writer, Historian, Geek

Writing Outside Your Comfort Zone

Cross-legged writing on a laptopI write a lot of fantasy stories, a lot of stories about siblings, and a lot of stories about things that live in the water and want to kill you. That’s my comfort zone.

With the various flash fiction contests I’ve been participating in, I’ve found myself writing WAY outside of my comfort zone. I’ve written genres that I don’t normally read or write. And I’ve managed to pull together decent stories in those genres.

While doing so, I’ve managed to stretch muscles that I didn’t even know I had. Sure, I don’t normally write or read mystery, but I understand the basic concept of the genre, and writing a mystery story (especially a mystery FLASH story) proved to be a great exercise for distilling down a mystery to the most essential elements, which can then inform my writing when a mystery element is needed. The flash story serves as the sketchiest of outlines for any future mystery story I might want to write, even if that story is ostensibly also fantasy or something else.

If you need to break out of a writing rut, try stretching the muscles that you don’t normally use and see what it can help you with in what you normally do write!

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