Wednesday, April 07, 2021

IWSG: Taking Risks

Welcome to the month of April--and another Insecure Writer's Support Group post! You can learn more about them on their website, Facebook page, and Twitter feed.  

Our hosts this month are PK Hrezo, Pat Garcia, SE White, Lisa Buie Collard, and Diane Burton.

Our question for this month is Are you a risk-taker when writing? Do you try something radically different in style/POV/etc. or add controversial topics to your work?

I don't think it's possible to grow as an artist or as a person without taking some risks. Writing short stories can be a good way to try new writing techniques. For example, the climate fiction short story I'm revising follows one person over the course of her life, with scenes at pivotal moments. I wouldn't say it's radically different from my normal style, but it's different from the other types of short stories I've written before, which are normally focused on a single problem and take place within a short amount of time. 

Another way to take risks is to try writing in new genres, such as the cozy mystery series I'm working on. My heroine is biracial, so she'll encounter causal racism and sexism at various points in the series. I'm not sure how many incidents I can include before the "cozy" feeling readers are looking for disappears, but I think it's important to show them. We'll see what the beta readers think. 

I also think it's harder to take risks as an author once you become known for a certain genre or style. Traditionally published authors sometimes get around this by writing under a pseudonym, and I know of a couple of indie authors who do the same thing with some of their work. While I considered publishing my mysteries under a pseudonym, I plan to use my real name. These will be paranormal cozy mysteries, so hopefully some of my readers will cross over to my fantasy work.

How do you feel about risk-taking? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.



Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

From science fiction to cozy mystery is a small risk. Will you pen them under your own name?

L. Diane Wolfe said...

You'd need to check with other cozy mystery writers like Elizabeth S. Craig. She could tell you what is acceptable within the genre.

Site Meter