Experimentation is what helps an author to grow. It allows them to stretch beyond their comfort zone and broaden their skills. And an author’s mission, at least in my opinion, is always to broaden those skills.
An author never stops learning. Regardless of what genre you write, there is always something new to learn. But one of the best ways to learn it is to branch out into something different. When you pare down your writing to the essence of the words, switching genres or even lengths helps to uncover new means of presenting the same story.
I experiment like this all the time. Along with writing romance (all subgenres), fantasy, and young adult, I also test the waters for other genres. My one attempt at horror failed miserably, and I seem to have trouble writing mystery if it isn’t a subplot hidden beneath a larger arcing plot. I’ve experimented with points of view, writing in third person omniscient (most of my works are third person limited), using two points of view in first person perspective (separating those by chapter), and trying out second person point of view.
Every now and again, I revisit my quest to write something in a way no one has before. I take a look at what’s been done and try to brainstorm new ways.
That’s how His Smoldering Eyes came to be. This free read, found at http://www.lbelow.net/lkbelow/books/free-reads/his-smoldering-eyes , began when I asked myself, “What can I do that no one has potentially done before?”
Now, I’ve read quite a few novels written in verse. But these have been young adult or mainstream novels. I’ve even read erotic poetry (largely from the Restoration era or ancient
Some people -- my boyfriend included -- look at me and tell me than a novel written in verse is essentially poetry, and therefore has been done. Maybe it takes a connoisseur of both poetry and erotic romance, but I see a difference. Writing a novel in verse is different from writing poetry, even long poetry. Books written in verse bridge the gap between poetry and the popular mass market paperbacks found on the shelves. They have many plot devices and other things in common with normal books, but are written in a more poetic style.
When I sat down to write His Smoldering Eyes, I was thinking about how I’ve never read an erotic novel written in verse. I was thinking about how it might be a challenge to write one -- and I love nothing better than a challenge. And lastly, I was thinking about the act of sex -- which can be poetic in itself.
But, as with all of my experiments, I need feedback in order to know whether it was a success or not. I highly encourage you to take a peek at this short erotic story and let me know -- do you enjoy stories told in this format? Would you read a longer book in the same style? I can be reached through email at lbelow(at)lbelow.net.
And now, for those writers out there reading this -- go! Experiment! Regardless of whether or not the end result is a success, you’ll be able to knock one more thing off your “things I haven’t tried” list. And good luck!
-L. K. Below writes poetry, romance, and speculative fiction. Under her full name, Lindsay Below, she pens young adult novels. Visit her online at www.lbelow.net or at her blog at http://lbelow.blogspot.com.