Ever feel like taking a risk with your writing but aren’t sure where to start? My first piece of advice is don’t force it. The opportunity may present itself to you. I know it certainly did to me a few weeks ago. I happened upon the inspiration for a project that I’ve been dying to write in terms of genre and style.
I am always hearing advice from other writers that we all need to keep learning and expanding our craft, making it better. All of my main WIP projects right now are in different genres (stretching from urban fantasy to sci-fi, and even fantasy), but they have a POV in common (mainly third person omniscient for the most part). Now, I don’t think this is a bad thing at all. It’s a POV I’m comfortable with and like.
However, this year I decided to do something … unusual as my project for National Novel Writing Month. I have chosen not only a genre but a POV that is completely different from my usual work.
Besides a few short stories or blurbs based off writing prompts I’ve written across the last few years, I’ve never spent much time in the horror/thriller genre. (Which is strange because I love movies in this genre and have read several short stories that I adored.). Unusual item number two is that I’ll be writing this project in first person POV. I haven’t done this since high school. My abilities as well as my confidence in myself as a writer have developed greatly since then.
Both of these factors make this project incredibly frightening.
Here’s the kicker. I came across a single word that started me down this road.
That word was Hallowmas. And it spawned not only the title but the project itself.
(Brief explanation: Halloween is All Hallows Eve and Hallowmas is the day after, known in the Catholic liturgical calendar as All Saints Day. Based on certain mythologies, Halloween is the day where the veil between worlds is lifted, allowing the fey world and ours to touch.)
Now back to the project! I’ll give a sneak peak to the general idea of the story and briefly introduce the main character.
The Hallowmas box can only be found between the hours of midnight and 3am between Halloween and Hallowmas. The box itself is full of several mysterious objects, related to the passage/ties between worlds.
Preston Everett is an unusual academic in search of the box. He has a fascination with the supernatural and often dabbles too deep in the ancient and arcane.
What he’ll find will be secrets beyond what he anticipated, as well as stories of those who have delved too deep into this Otherworld, like himself.
I know this story is going to be an immense challenge to by abilities as a writer. Neither this writing POV or genre are in my comfort zone. But I’ve decided it’s time to step outside of that in an attempt to understand myself and my writing abilities better.
After all, what is there to lose? All I may lose in trying out this sort of project is a little time. But really, there’s everything to gain. I can learn more about what I’m capable of and fulfill one of my dreams in terms of working on a genre I’d previously been too timid to explore.
Furthermore, in the vein of taking risks, sometimes all you have to do is adapt your ideas if it doesn’t work out like you’d hoped. Worse comes to worse, perhaps I simply change the point of the view of the book.
So don’t be afraid to take risks, broaden your horizons, and grow your abilities!
You’ll be hearing significantly more about The Hallowmas Box, so I hope I’ve intrigued you!