About Stepping Outside Your Comfort Genre

I don’t try to hide that I am particularly fond of the speculative genre, more specifically Fantasy. I live in my own Fantasy wordl and if you dare to mention something I am passionate about expect t hear something from me. I revel in all things fantasy and the ability to make what seems impossible and bring it into the realm of reality, at least for the story. I am able to imagine and dream of a world that is different than our own. For me, Fantasy and even Science Fiction bring me comfort and make me feel at ease.

But every so often, everyone needs to step outside of their comfort zone. It’s necessary to change gears and see what another genre has to offer. Sure, it may not be what you expect, it may not be comforting, and you may not like it at all, but giving something else an opportunity opens you up to be more rounded. I may be a huge Fantasy person, but before I loved Fantasy I was in love with mysteries. In fact, I would only read mystery. Something about finding out what happened intrigued me. Then I picked up some fantasy books and I was hooked. But to this day, I still have a great appreciation and can enjoy a mystery.

It changes your expectations and habits. When I read Fantasy, I find that I tend to read the stories slowly. It has nothing to do with the writing, but more to do with wanting to enjoy the world  am being presented. However, when I read a mystery I read much quicker. With mysteries the draw doesn’t tend to be the world that has been presented to me. The draw is finding out what happened. This crosses over for things that I watch as well. You can tell me how a Fantasy movie or show ends, the shock isn’t what I’m there for. I am watching it for the journey that I am taken on. However, if it is a mystery that I’ve discovered the ending to, I’ll be hardpressed to watch that, unless the world is fantastic.

Exploring other genres  is especially important for creators of content. It helps those creators think outside the box and tackle problems in ways that aren’t the standard convention of the genre. This variance keeps things interesting for the audience. While working on a fantasy novel, I was engrossed in a mystery I’d never read before and the result was my fantasy had more mystery elements that livened up the story. it allowed the story to become more complex and interesting as it added another element. I was able to think outside the box and the story benefited.

Do you make a point to explore other genres than your favorites?

4 thoughts on “About Stepping Outside Your Comfort Genre

  1. Mystery/suspense has long been my favorite genre, but I like reading other types as well — memoirs, a little sci-fi on occasion, literature, definitely. They can all help inspire new ways of expressing things or looking at an issue in our writing that we might not have considered otherwise.

  2. Pingback: Roundup October 2013 | So, I pondered...

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