“Stick to what you know.”, “Don’t branch out.”, “Keep it simple.”, “Don’t be a Pinhead!”
Okay, the last quote might not be related, but the others are ones I’ve heard many times.
So, in regards to your own writing, what should you do?
I always struggle with trying to find a balance in my writing. A balance between new things and things everyone hears of all. the. time.
The biggest concern I’ve always had is: what if I write something I don’t really know about? Should I risk looking like a complete idiot by writing something so far fetched nobody will ever get it?
First of all, out of everything I’ve learned over the past few years of writing, it’s this: to the writer, everything just looks weird.
Writers are (it is a fact) OCD about their stories. And every author thinks that no one will understand their world because their idea is in their head.
Another thing I’ve learned is that no matter what you write, you will always have doubts about it. And that’s okay. That’s good. The mark of a non-writer is if someone thinks their story is amazing. Then you know that person is definitely not a true writer.
What does all this have to do with branching out?
Well, most of writing is mental, in your head (ha ha ha.). If you don’t have the right mindset, everything will go downhill, and I just wanted to assure you that your doubts about your writing material is completely normal.
Don’t be afraid to try something new. Bloggers, authors, and friends alike will tell you not to try something that might be rejected, or confusing.
You never know till you try, right?
Don’t be afraid to stick some odd gadget in your story that no one has ever heard of before. That’s what makes it your story. That’s what makes it your world.
Yes, if you are trying to write some complicated science fiction novel with a long explanation of how the science behind it works, you might want to consult some kind of physicist. Maybe. If you don’t, that’s fine, but I doubt your book will sell… (just kidding,
My point is, don’t be afraid to branch out and make up something. Something that is completely new, unrelated. Something that is a mix between a post-it and a jetpack. Whatever. It’s up to you. YOU are the author, it’s YOUR world, and don’t EVER let anyone else dictate what you should put in it.
So, yes. If you want to write a book about a nuclear missile floating off into space and destroying a asteroid which in turn destroys half the population on earth, go right ahead. Have fun. It’s okay if you don’t know exactly how everything works. If you research enough to know that if you fire something in space it will never stop moving…then you’ll be good.
(Don’t try to write a book like that. It will not sell. I’m sorry if I got your hopes up.)
The beauty of writing is that there are no boundaries. And if there are, then they are limited to your own imagination and your own will and ability to bring your world to life.
Don’t be afraid to be risky.
Trying to figure out how to infect a world with fatal bacteria (even though she’s not a scientist),