Merrilee put up a post about the issues and interests she has and will possibly work through for the Creativity Workshop and prompted people to start thinking about their own. I’ve been mulling it over for more than a week now and different things keep coming to the surface. I think I’m narrowing the list down though.
From reading through other peoples posts, I can see some common threads forming – it’s really interesting seeing what other people want to work on and seeing how my own issues/interests lie along similar lines.
So, lets get down to it:
Diversity: I really want to work on this one. I write characters who are predominantly 20-35. They might be male, or female (I have a pretty even split), and are predominantly human. They all have their own personalities but there isn’t an awful lot of variety there. I need to push the boundaries, explore characters that are further away from where I am (socially, mentally, emotionally, physically), make the most of a variety of cultures and points of individuality.
Jumping into the deep end: I tend to dilly dally with the beginnings of my short stories. It’s a bad habit and often results in my deleting the first thousand or so words of a piece to get to where things should be starting from. I think I’m afraid that if I dive right in, I’ll miss something important. Quite often I’ll find myself tiptoeing around the real story to the point where I lose the drive to write it. I want to push past that and just leap into ideas where the story really gets going, unafraid. I can always go back and add things if it turns out they are necessary, but I am sick of spending hours and words on the unimportant stuff.
Writing about home: This has cropped up for a fair few people – it’s so easy to think that nothing interesting can happen in your own back yard. I know that’s entirely untrue. Not only can amazing things happen anywhere in the world but I live in NZ for goodness sakes! We have a rich history, an amazing country and lots of fodder for exploration. I’ve always shied away from it and I don’t want to do that anymore. I’m part Maori, and I don’t tap into that at all in my writing. I want to break those barriers as well and allow myself to make use of the other parts of my heritage.
No babies: This is something I’m going to play with for the duration of the workshop. I write a lot of stories about pregnancy, mothers and motherhood. Hell it’s where I’m at and I find it so interesting – there are so many angles you can take and many myths to explore in new ways. I’m not going to write any stories about mothers, or babies, or pregnancy, or stillbirths, or anything centered around these things for now. Stories about other things that have people who happen to be mothers and children are okay – as long as the focus of the story isn’t on something parenting/motherhood/pregnancy related. I know, it’s a fine line, but it’s pretty clear in my mind. It will help make it easier to create more diverse characters for one thing!
I’m going to leave the list like that for now. There are no doubt others, but these are the ones that have been coming to the forefront lately. I think it will be both fun and challenging to push myself in some new directions over the next few months.