This week: Breaking Literary Comfort ZonesEdited by: Lonewolf
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Everyone feels more comfortable with what they know, and writers can easily fall into a habit of sticking to their comfort zones when it comes to a literary form, genre, and theme. However, these habits can block new and creative ideas. When a writer steps out of that comfort zone, either physically or in writing, there's no telling what will emerge!
As creative writers, sometimes we need to stretch our muscles, step outside our stuffy little comfort zones, and try something new. Comfort zones are called just that because they are comfortable and safe. And while it's scary to do new things and take risks, it's the only way we grow.
We jump out of airplanes, talk to strangers at parties, and visit new countries when we want to face our fears and grow as people. But what can writers do to step out of their comfort zones?
Try something new
What level of sensuality are you comfortable writing? The answer is often found in another question. What level of sensuality are you comfortable reading? Many writers find their comfort zone for writing falls within the same comfort zone of their reading pleasure.
If you love hot, steamy romances, then attempting to write a sweet romance may not be the type of book you'll enjoy writing. However, if you cringe and often skip over the sex scenes in the books you read, then you might question if you have what it takes to write a book with lots of sensual sizzle.
In your experience as a reader and writer, you've likely encountered more genres than you even realize, but it's also likely that you are drawn to some while you shy away from others. Because we each have distinctive experiences with the many genres we encounter, it's also true that we have our own comfort levels with each genre. Perhaps you prefer to write romance stories, or perhaps making up whole stories from scratch seems impossible to you.
While there are some writers who are comfortable writing sexually explicit, there are others who don't, and will find writing certain scenes harder to get past which may halt their writing. Determining your comfort zone is what needs to be considered when you decide on the type of stories you intend to write and the level of sensuality you plan to include.
Even erotica writers have comfort zones when writing sex scenes. What one writer considers taboo, another has no problem exploring. The worst thing that can happen when you try something new is that you might fail. At least you tried and probably learned that it wasn't as scary as you imagined. The knowledge that you tried is an accomplishment and realizing that even a failed attempt at something new is a measure of success. The trick is to discover your creative limits and see what you can do about stepping outside that restrictive line.
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