Hello, dear Escapists.
I believe an intro is in order:
My name is Syd Wachs, commonly known as Squid, or Squachs, or just Sachs, partially because I love socks. Slipper socks, organic bamboo socks, anklets, knee socks…I just love socks. I am the Sock Queen.
All right, then.
My bio is on the ‘Us’ page, but since I am a full-time blogger, let me give you some more randoms about me.
* I wear a 9.5 shoe.
* I collect gargoyle figurines, antique books, feathers, and rocks.
* I graduated this year, and was homeschooled my entire life. Here is a picture of me at graduation:
*I am a photographer and like pictures a lot, so let multitudes of stills be my trademark on the Escapism Project.
* I understand Old English/1800s literature better than I do modern lit.
* My main genres of writing are high fantasy and historical fiction.
This last fact ties into what I want to talk about shortly today (since it is 12:32 in the morning). My topic for this Project is going out of boundaries in your writing. That very thing is something I struggle with in more than just the area of writing in my life. I am also an artist, and one of the books I have that teaches me how to draw people says that so often artists try to mould their subject into what they THINK it should look like, rather than what it ACTUALLY looks like.
Same with writing. We try to mould our stories into how we think they should go, rather than – crazy as it sounds – letting the characters have control.
But how does this tie into the fact that my 2 main genres are the two HFs?
In 2007, when I was 14 years old, I began participating in NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. I had never sat down just to write a book except a few times, and never before had I finished it. So, November of ’07 was going to change all that.
After trying out two different plots, on the 10th of November I finally settled with a plot I had fallen in love with several months before, and thinking I would never write it because of its genre, I just sketched it out in my ‘Idear Book’ and left it to collect dust. The book is named Reflection, and its genre is Mainstream Fiction. It takes place in modern day – something I hate, as I am convinced I was born in the wrong century.
Time and time again I had tried to write Mainstream but it never worked, simply because I cannot relate to modern culture. I am an old soul with the enthusiasm of a young soul, which is hardly existent in today’s world. I had to make this plot work somehow, because there were only 20 days left to write 50,000 words, and I was determined to be one of the winners of NaNo.
So, I just started writing. I had a short paragraph in the Idear Book about the general plot, and I made rough character sketches. Without figuring out any of the details, I just went with it and let them have control.
Let me tell you, it was not fun. This picture sort of describes the feeling I had those 20 days of writing something totally new and foreign:
Pretty much like I had been hit with a truck. Somewhere in the abysses of the other laptop there is a picture my little sister snapped of me, standing up with my laptop propped on the counter, my head in my arms, looking quite worn-out.
(I was actually on the phone in this picture.)
Y’all, listen to me though. Getting SO out of the box did amazing things.
It made me feel like a real writer for the first time in my life, and at that point I had been writing for at least 8 years.
It opened my mind to where I could understand myself and the noveling process better.
It developed a filter in my imagination as to what would naturally fit and what wouldn’t, and it also made me figure out how to portray things as they really were, not as I thought they should be.
(That’s why I have a hard time doing this all the time – because with High Fantasy, anything is possible and it takes a lot to have difficulty fitting something in.)
So your challenge for this week is to go out of the box. Write a mere 500 words in a genre you could never see yourself writing. Do it over and over again, different plots if you have to, until you can understand how ironically FREEING having fewer boundaries is. Pretty soon, we will work our way towards having NO boundaries with writing.
Because isn’t that the point of writing? An ESCAPISM tool? A place where we can be FREE?