Friday, January 4, 2019

Writing Outside My Comfort Zone

Image result for humor writing meme
My current WIP (work in progress) is outside my usual genre. Sort of. A bit. Well, kind of. Hmm ... this is going to take a little explaining.

You see, I write historical fiction and historical romance. It's pretty much commonly agreed upon that one can slide seamlessly between those two very connected genres without upsetting or disappointing your readers.

But then there's my current WIP. It's a western. Now granted, it's a historical western, but it's still a western. So what's the difference between historical fiction and a historical western? It's the difference between Margaret Mitchell and Louis L'Amour, or the difference between John Steinbeck and Zane Grey. One is writing fictional characters in historical settings, and the other is writing about cowboys.


Westerns are all about the cowboys.

I like cowboys. I raised one. No, seriously, my son is a team roper and horse trainer. I really did raise a cowboy.

I took a step of faith when I decided to give this a try. It's not what I'm used to and comfortable with. But writing about cowboys turned into something I didn't expect - a lot of fun! While my tagline has always been, Writing History with a Touch of Humor, I'm finding that humor and cowboys go hand-in-glove. There are times while writing that I literally laugh out loud ... and get some weird looks from my dog.

My foray into writing a historical western is probably going to expand into a three-book series partly because there's enough story here, partly because I've fallen a little bit in love with my main character, and partly because I'm really enjoying it.

It takes some nerve to step outside our comfort zones, but it can worth it too. I challenge you all - whether in writing or another area of your life - to step outside your comfort zone this year and try something new. You never know where it might lead!

Pegg Thomas
PeggThomas.com
https://www.amazon.com/Pegg-Thomas/e/B01M8KLB3Y/


11 comments:

  1. I'm excited about your western. Can't wait to read it!

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    1. Thanks, Linda! I'm hoping for an early release in 2020, but we'll see.

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  2. I know we're going to love your western! Also, I couldn't agree more with this piece. Writing about a highlander is out of my comfort zone, hence the time period I chose. I've stepped out on a number of occasions, especially when I first tried a contemporary novella. Novellas in general are a real challenge for me, but I love the discipline. Every time I step out of my comfort zone to try something new, I educate myself that much more in the craft. It's so very satisfying!

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    1. I think it also keeps us from growing stale and putting out stories that start to all sound/look alike.

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  3. Hi Peggy, I'm excited to see your new project! I grew up watching Westerns with my Daddy. The Virginian, Sugarfoot, Maverick, Cheyenne....the list goes on and on! As for your writing historical fiction, what has more history than the American West?

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    1. Sorry Pegg, auto correct needs you to Pegg with a y 😉

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    2. It's okay, my legal name is Peggy, but I dropped the y many, many years ago. I grew up on John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart westerns and - of course - the great Louis L'Amour!

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  4. Replies
    1. Guess that means I better get to writing today, eh?!

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  5. I've enjoyed reading your novellas in a couple of the collections, so your historical western will be worth reading.

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