Monday, May 24, 2010

Creativity Workshop: Week in Review

So here we are at another Monday and my week in review is a day late - as always.

This 4-week segment of the Creativity Workshop is, of course, my self-challenge to experiment with writing in different genres. This week past I was going to write a short story in the horror fiction genre. Why? I don't know. I don't read horror, per se, and I don't watch horror movies, but I decided to write a horror story because it was so far outside of my comfort zone as to be a serious challenge.

At first I was like, WTF am I going to write?! I considered something zombie-related, but decided against it (maybe another time). I was finally inspired for a story idea by a comment made by one of my MFA colleagues on our online workshop. He said, about another colleague's poetry, "I felt like painting a giant, dark, wall-sized abstract painting and scratching those poems into it with a bloody knife." Great compliment, eh?! So anyway, that inspired me to write a horror flash fiction. I know it's kind of a cop-out to write flash fiction for a creativity workshop, but I actually think it worked well. Sometimes super-short can be super-compelling.

So what genre am I going to attempt this week? Western. Yep, pardner. I've had an idea for a western novel for a while now so I'm going to start exploring that in greater depth. Again, not sticking strictly to the short story form, but it's a creativity workshop and this is my opportunity to push myself into a place where I'm not necessarily comfortable, but a place I need to go nonetheless. Otherwise I'm likely to keep pushing this story down the "to-do" list until I never do it.

This week I'll work on doing some character studies (they're not going to be the same old overdone cowboys - MC is a woman), do some research into the old west for the purposes of becoming familiar with setting (maybe reread some Louis L'Amour?), do some brief outlining, then start writing the story.


Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

Wow--go you. I would be LOST trying to write a western, though I think it would be a cool thing to do. Have fun!

Merrilee said...

Nothing wrong with flash fiction - it's a great exercise in writing tight :) A western just sounds like so much fun. I'm a fan of Clarence Mulford and Billy Bragg. Love a good roundup!

Chibi said...

Ooh, a western? That's going to be a tough one. I've never done western or horror, but I think I'd be more daunted by the western. Good luck.