Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Writing Wednesday: Moving outside my comfort zone

There has been a lot of talk on different writing blogs recently about the importance of reading (and writing) outside your comfortable genres. Something I wholeheartedly agree with, just have trouble doing.

I’ve read literally thousands of science fiction books and it shows in my writing. I’ve read a lot of horror and that shows up as well. I’ve read so much early American lit, especially Reconstruction era for college that I cringe at reading any for pleasure, except Mark Twain he was the great. Outside of those areas I am sorely limited so I’m looking for suggestions. Especially in these areas:

Stephanie suggested Nora Roberts, I’m trying but it’s a little tough. One nice thing is I discovered J.D. Robb, Nora Roberts science fiction adventure books, they’re da bomb.

Young Adult:
I’m writing a book where it is necessary for the Protagonist to be a freshman in college, which will naturally appeal to those readers. So I’d like not to turn them off, its just most of the YA titles I’ve looked at don’t appeal to me, especially not Stephanie Meyers Twilight Series. I barely made it through the first chapter.

Fantasy (Non-SFF):
I like the idea of having different classes and races suddenly needing to work together but I’ve run across a lot of it that was either bad or a Hobbit knock off. I recently read a pretty good Quest Fantasy novel got me interested in this genre again.

Chick Lit:
I want strong characters in my books and Chick Lit offers them, but like Fantasy I’ve had bad luck blindly picking them out.

So if anyone has any suggestions in these areas I’d love to hear them and I’ll check them out.

By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

1 comment:

Stephanie Barr said...

A-ha. I was actually introduced to Nora Roberts through JD Robb. I got caught up in the whole thing, (both Robb and Roberts), but I have and have reread the whole "In Death" series several times. Unfortunately, in the romance category, I literally can't recommend anyone else except Georgette Heyer (and, since they are historical romances, I doubt they'd appeal. If you want to try one anyway, send me a line and I'll tell you which ones to start with.)

YA is tougher for me since I rarely read it myself (though I read through the whole Twilight series and a few others). I like Artemis Fowl. The main protagonist is a bit younger, but the humor and characters were very appealing. My husband won't read YA period - except Artemis Fowl (by Eoin Colfer).

Fantasy? I like Jennifer Roberson and the series called "Sword and Sorceress" of short stories edited by Marion Zimmer Bradley. That's what got me into fantasy when I never was before. The Myth Adventures by Robert Lynn Asprin are funny and farcical, kind of in line with your Pizza Diaries. There is also the Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne MacCaffrey (which is sort of science fiction, but mostly not). I also like The Warlock series by Christopher Stasheff and the Kedrigern Chronicles. You'll note, from my choices, I like humor in my novels. Many like Piers Anthony. The Xanth series is somewhat juvenile but funny. He has some other stuff that's good and some that's not so good.

When it comes to building strong female characters, I don't know anyone who does it better than Nora Roberts/JD Robb, but, then, I'm not much into Chick Lit.

Hope that helps. I'll look at my bookshelves later and see if there are any more suggestions I can make. Have you read Sharon Lee and Steve Miller's Liaden series (science fiction with fantasy elements)?