Aug 22, 2010

Writing outside your comfort zone

So I'm in love again. This time I really think it's the real thing. But here's the problem...I'm kinda afraid to introduce my new love to my friends/family/the world.

Everything about my new book goes beyond my comfort zone. I've been pretty reserved in my last couple novels. Small kisses, light cursing (OMG I said $h!t...well probably not even that!) and for the most part non controversial plot lines. (though my first book did allude to some things that were a little less than saintly) But not much that I would be embarrassed to let my mom or dad read.

But this book ... *blushes* ... this beautiful little creature, it definitely pushes all the limits. (At least to the point of what is acceptable in YA throbbing members...I promise!) It's written from the voice of  sixteen year old. I went back in my journals from that age. I'm sorry, but my friends and I swore. We particularly liked four letter words. And though we may not have been having it, we sure spent a lot of time talking and thinking about sex. (*REALLY blushing now*) If I were to try to hold back on all of those things, I don't feel like it would be true to the voice of a teenager.

So I swear. I mention drugs. My characters go to a party and drink. (Though this is something I did NOT do in high school) They think about sex. The make out.

On the FLIP side...

They also care a lot about family and friends. My MC tries to keep her language clean if she can at all help it. She also spends a lot of time convincing herself that it's ok not to be having sex. And if she's going to drink, she refuses to drive.

All hope is not lost upon her. Actually, I absolutely love her.

Still, I'm scared. These are not the normal things that I write. And then I go and throw in mental illness and push topics in that rhelm that are bound to make people uncomfortable as well.

Have you ever writing outside your comfort zone? How did you get past the guilt, if you had any? In the end, were you still proud of your work?

I'm not really ashamed of what I've written. I wrote the truth. I didn't sugar coat it. And I've never been so in love with my words. Still, that little Catholic voice in my head says, "Tsk tsk shouldn't say those things!" UGH! I really need to reprogram that voice!


Jade said...

I think you need to stay true to the voice of your story and TRY really hard to ignore the little voice telling you it's wrong.

My YA stories have dealt with things such as sex and drugs, and I'm not ashamed of it. These are issues that real teenagers deal with, and to sugar-coat or dismiss them would be a dishonour.

I don't have any guilt about what I've written, but then, everyone is different. The only advice I can offer is to believe in yourself. As writers, we owe it to ourselves to do at least that.

Good luck!

CMOM Productions said...

Be upfront about your boldness and realistic scenarios. Then remind those people... "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." If they don't like it, they don't like it.... but you'll probably be surprised. Ignore the guilt, because I will if you will. :)

Glynis said...

Enjoy the ride and be proud of what you have achieved. I think it is great that you looked back on your journals.