What do you mean you don’t like them? You haven’t even tried them! *violently shoves Brussels sprouts down your gullet* NOW you can say you don’t like them…but stop being sick on the carpet first. Please? Please! *backs away from growing puddle*
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, to do the same old thing day in day out without considering any alternatives. Hell, why would you? What you have/do now works well enough, yeah? Habit and conformity feel soooo comfortable, but so does vegging in the sofa with a bin bag full of Doritos, and we all know how harmful that is.
Don’t get me wrong, sticking with what works for you is not a Bad Thing.
But on the other hand/foot/tentacle, trying something new can open up entire new worlds of possibilities. You don’t have to try it all, and you certainly don’t have to stick with it if it doesn’t work for you, but please consider the possibility of dipping your toes into someone else’s pool. Just try not to get too excited in their Jacuzzi – chlorine can only clean so much. There isn’t enough pool cleaner on earth to bleach the memory of a floater bobbing past you after you’ve just sucked in water to spit at a friend.
Creeping gently away from the poop analogies – pass the bleach – and getting back to experimenting with writing. There are a few things you could try playing with to spice up that sham of a marriage you and the blank page have.
Genre – Writing erotic westerns sure can be fun, but if you tried your hand at science fiction or attempted to pen a detective novel you might find skills you’d never dreamed existed. That’s not to say you have to ignore The Bone Ranger, Hopadong Cassidy, and Roy Rodgers (didn’t even have to filth that one up) – you can still write what you enjoy most. But you owe it to yourself to experiment with other genres and styles.
POV – You might hate first person, despise second person with a fiery passion, but find yourself licking every third person book you can get your tongue on…mmm, taste the omniscient. That doesn’t mean you can’t try writing all three. Obviously there’s a lot more to POV than I, you, she, so get elbow deep and fiddle around with every version you can find – subjective, objective, unreliable, past, present, future, epistolary, the list goes on.
Length – You might only write shorts, or you might knock out first drafts that would make ‘Artamène ou le Grand Cyrus’ look like a pizza menu. Yeah…well…you know, that’s just, like…your opinion, man. Length, I’m sorry to say, isn’t important. Quality over quantity, excellence over extent, girth over len…*ahem* Write novels and shorts and flash fiction and microfiction and six word stories! Write novellas and novelettes and sixteen book epics. Each story will be best told in a different length than the last. Don’t try and cut an idea short just because you like short shorts. And equally don’t try and stretch out an idea to the point of snapping just because you want to be a novel writer rather than a good writer.
As with any experimentation the only way to find out what works is to DO IT! There are infinite variables to play with, much more than I can be arsed going in to. Hell, it’s not like I’m getting paid to write this blog, or get any presents or anything (hint, hint). Play with poems, nail that narrative, poke a prequel, sleep with that sequel, rhyme, rap, rant, epublish that mofo, scribble, trial, test, try…
Frolic with fiction, bitches!