As a writer, I tend to write in a specific genre. Those of you who have been following the ole blog for a while know that I’m primarily a fantasy writer who easily falls in love with side characters. There are, however, certain aspects of fantasy that I could write better.
A little while ago, I admitted that I’m not one for romance in No Kissing Allowed. But as a writer, there is always more to learn, and for me, romance can be an aspect of every genre, whether or not the story focuses on love. I was also having trouble being creative and battling the writer’s block goblin when CampNaNoWriMo2020 rolled around in April.
A quick history on NaNoWriMo for me: while I typically finish strong with 50k new words, I hardly ever finish the entire draft of my new story in one go. Usually, I write big chunks of the story during NaNoWriMo, and then I set it aside for a while to come back to later. It became a habit for me to choose safe, fantasy projects and just drift aimlessly through the drafting process.
I thought to myself,
What better way to break out of my comfort zone than experimenting in a completely different genre?
– Me, thinking to myself
So, decided to throw caution to the wind and write in a genre that’s completely new to me. I don’t typically read romances (though there are a few romance novels I’ve fallen in love with, or novels with strong romantic subplots), so I was pretty much going in blind. I threw caution to the wind and tried to write two chapters a day, at least. Some chapters were itty-bitty, and others were a healthy size.
It was difficult. Oh, good gracious, was it difficult. I still don’t know if what I wrote was actually a romance. There are certain criteria that need to be met, such as the two protagonists need to have a happily ever after (or a hint that they’ll live happily ever after) together, etc.
I don’t think I included enough kissing. But there were moments where the story surprised me, moments where the characters acted out and behaved like real people, which is always fun.
Will this story ever see the light of day? Probably not.
But did I write 90k brand-new words of a romance novel that I never, ever thought I’d write? Yes!
The most important thing, though, is that I conquered my fear of romance and kisses in my drafts, which is a huge step forward for me. I think my little experiment was a resounding success.
So, let this be a lesson to you, kids: If you’re ever in a rut doing the same old thing, try something new and out of your comfort zone. Who knows? You could end up with a brand-new favorite hobby or passion (as for me, though, I’m going back to writing fantasy as soon as possible).
Happy writing, and be sure to try new things!