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The Summer Outside Your Comfort Zone



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Tue May 01, 2018 8:27 am
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StellaThomas says...



The Summer* Outside Your Comfort Zone

Hello!

For a few months this has been cooking inside my skull but I haven't actually made anything out of it.

Here at YWS, we have a lot of fantastic writers. Some of you that I've known for longer I can recognise your style, your recurring themes in your work. Some of you I don't know so well, but I'm sure that those themes are there. For instance, I love writing soft fantasy worlds. My main character is usually a young woman (although sometimes a young man). I use fairytale imagery a lot. And often, my story involves a missing heir to the throne.

I'm currently quite literally out of my comfort zone, sweating out of every pore in Vietnam, so what better time to bring this up?

This summer I want you - all of you, all of us, to try writing outside of your comfort zone. It can be an artform change. Maybe you're a poet who never writes fiction. It can be a protagonist type change. Maybe you always write antiheroes and it's time to write a white knight. Maybe you always write speculative fiction and it's time to give contemporary a try.

The important thing is not to cop out. For instance I'm primarily a fiction writer but to change to poetry wouldn't be an enormous challenge to me. Write something that actually frightens you to write. You might discover something about yourself on the way.

I don't want this to detract from anyone's actual writing time so therefore I want to give the entire summer - from today the 1st May to 30th August. Four months. And in that time, write four pieces of work that you mightn't normally write.

I will read all of them and attempt to review them too, and I hope that if you choose to participate then you'll also read, and review when you can!

For the sake of it, if you complete the challenge, I will award you 2000 points from my own coffers because why not?

Mainly, I just want you to have fun. I just want you to be creative. Try something new.

In the thread below, please define what, to you, is your comfort zone, and make a master post for your pieces, as coded below. But please feel free to comment in the thread whenever you post, or whenever you struggle to post, to comment and discuss with each other!

Literally anyone and everyone is welcome to participate, whether you joined 14 seconds or 14 years ago.

I really look forward to seeing what you come up with!

- Stella x

Code: Select all
[B]My Comfort Zone:[/b]
[B]Things that make me anxious to write:[/b]
[B]Attempts:[/b]
[B]1.[/b]
[B]2.[/b]
[B]3.[/b]
[B]4.[/b]


* - please insert winter here if you live in the Southern Hemisphere
"Stella. You were in my dream the other night. And everyone called you Princess." -Lauren2010




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Tue May 01, 2018 10:53 am
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zaminami says...



Spoiler! :
My Comfort Zone: Lyrical poetry, literally any fiction stories, psychopaths and other mental patients, gay and lgbt, the paranormal, crap I’m passionate about but I don’t want to list because I’m on my phone because I have a lot
Things that make me anxious to write: Rhyming poetry, sonnets, original songs, non-fiction, anti-everything I’m passionate about (though it’s more offensive to me than anything), etc.
Attempts:
1.
2.
3.
4.
tartaglia, they/he lesbian.
i also go by skylar and reginald!
First member of the bio trio™.
victim of the writer’s block disease




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Tue May 01, 2018 3:26 pm
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Sujana says...



Granted, I'm probably going to cop out on this one, but may as well try rather than never make an attempt.

Spoiler! :
My Comfort Zone: Short stories, novels, LGBTQA+ characters, characters that sound like they seek the sweet embrace of death, bad vices, stories with internal conflicts, Sad Boi Hour Stories

Things that make me anxious to write: Cishet romances (I'm sorry, I really am), any and all types of poetry (also really sorry), comedies, characters without extreme character traits (shy people, otherwise mundane people who aren't deadpan snarkers, etc.), audience surrogates, anything meant to be lighthearted

Attempts:
1.
2.
3.
4.
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief."

Ecclesiastes 1: 18




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Tue May 01, 2018 4:41 pm
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Holysocks says...



This sounds like a load of fun!

Spoiler! :
My Comfort Zone:
Fantasy type stories where I can make up whatever kinds of creatures I want, females with masculine names and males with feminine names, either morally challenged softie male characters or cold and boring female characters, settings completely made up but urban.

Things that make me anxious to write:
Lyrics, science fiction, real settings in real countries, multiple-part short stories, kid characters or characters in their 40's, etc.

Attempts:

1.
2.
3.
4.
100% autistic




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Tue May 01, 2018 5:47 pm
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mellifera says...



I have no shortage of things to attempt, but we'll see if they ever get done.

Spoiler! :
My Comfort Zone: short stories, lgtbq+, banter™, characters who have 'deeply repressed mental health issues' apparently (so I've been told, not my words), novels, sad things, but also soft things, long boring dialogue, foreshadowing

Things that make me anxious to write: first person, second person, any kind of poetry, lyrics, scripts, crude humour, perfect characters/mary sues, fanfiction (more specifically I'm worried about canon character and mis-portraying them?), politics, military, horror (I really want to though), anything that could cause secondhand embarrassment, love triangles, historical fiction and/or period dramas, self-inserting, legal stuff, flash fiction, short stories under 1000 words, 'the chosen one' and prophecies, romance

(this is not including things I'm anxious about sharing but that's another beastie)

Attempts:

1. an honest lie
2. July, 1941
3. The Disappearance of Annie O'Connor
4. do you remember?
Last edited by mellifera on Wed May 23, 2018 10:35 pm, edited 6 times in total.
I believe in a universe that doesn't care and people that do.

You and I, we are matter, and it matters.

they/them




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Tue May 01, 2018 5:56 pm
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Elinor says...



I love this, Stella!

Spoiler! :
My Comfort Zone: Screenplays/short stories, romance, young female characters/internal conflict, reflective/existential pieces, historical fiction, bittersweet endings
Things that make me anxious to write: Fantasy, male narrators, second person, any poetry that isn't free verse, fanfiction, anything involving real people, war stories, political/courtroom dramas
Attempts:
1. Mary Jane
2. The Princess and the Pauper
3.
4.

All our dreams can come true — if we have the courage to pursue them.

-- Walt Disney




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Tue May 01, 2018 6:09 pm
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BluesClues says...



Uhhhh so hopefully my primary outside-my-comfort-zone counts, because...I need to get over that.

Spoiler! :
My Comfort Zone: Fiction, particularly novels, particularly fantasy. First drafts. Dialogue.

Things that make me anxious to write:

REVISION REVISION REVISION. Seriously. I can get through a first draft with "it's only a first draft, it doesn't have to be good," but then I get to revision and now??? things have to be??? good??? OH NO. I feel okay during the initial read-through, while taking notes, but once it comes to actually rewriting/revising things...nope. Nopedy nope nope nope. I get revision jitters. I start feeling like I'm making the story worse instead of better, and eventually I have to set it aside.

The Chosen Grandma should about be ready for revisions some time this summer, so I'll have to make some headway on that.

Gosh-darned description.

Flash fiction. Short fiction in general, but flash fiction in particular.

Also, poetry didn't used to make me feel anxious, but it does now. And I only got one of my four poems done during NaPoWriMo, so this is my chance to redeem myself.

Attempts:

1. LMS Round III Elimination Round

It has been pointed out to me that the LMS Round III Elimination Round is p far out of, well, everyone's comfort zone. So I'm counting it. But I'll count it all as one thing. The word count goes up weekly. First from 1000 to 1500, then 3000, then 5000, and now it's 8000 words. Next week is 12,000 and then 20,000.

And by then we'll (probably)(hopefully) be done.

Considering I've spent the last year writing only 1500 words/week for this story...wow, yeah, this is kind of a big deal.

2. Revision Notes and Second Draft

Starting major, total-overhaul-type rewrites on September 1st. ~8750 words per week, which, depending on the total word count for this draft (aiming between 100k and 120k) could be complete as early as November 24th or as late as December 8th.

I'm working on revision notes right now and hope to have them done by August 26th so I can focus on school next week and take a brief break from thinking about this before I start rewrites.

3. Revision Notes and Third Draft

Working on post-second revision notes over Christmas break. May start as early as December 2nd or as late as December 16th, depending on when Draft 2 is completed. Either way, it gives me a week between completing Draft 2 and starting on revision notes.

Then there'll be a minimum of a weeklong break between revision notes and starting Draft 3, which will be more piecemeal revisions - still subject to plenty of rewrites, I'm sure, but more section by section as needed rather than a rewrite of the entire novel.

If revision notes are started on December 16th, Draft 3 will start on January 6th. If revision notes are started a week or more earlier, Draft 3 will start on January 1st because it'll actually give me something to look forward to on New Year's Day instead of feeling like a disappointingly ordinary day after all the holiday excitement.

Draft 3 will be completed by February 23rd.

4. Final Draft

Starting on Draft 4 on March 10th. In the two weeks between this and completing Draft 3, I can take a break or, if necessary, do further planning but I'm really hoping that won't be necessary This draft will be smaller piecemeal revisions and line edits.

Hopefully mostly line edits.

Draft 4 will be completed by April 27th.




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Tue May 01, 2018 6:29 pm
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TheBlueCat says...



I don't know if I can get to this but I'm going to plop this here anyways because it sounds fun! c:

Done!
Spoiler! :
My Comfort Zone: Fiction(mainly fantasy), poems for the most part (but only free verse), novels, long short stories, romance, adventure, battles (even though I'm terrible at them), female/teen protagonists, evil monsters, being evil in general, and lengthy descriptions. (All of these are barely my comfort zone; I'm still fairly new at writing so it pretty much all of it makes me quake in my metaphorical boots)
Things that make me anxious to write: Scripts, unhappy endings, real world stories without magic, structured poems, historical fiction, nonfiction, flash fiction(or short prose), and male/adult protagonists. Writing in general. !Revising!
Attempts:
1. Misheard (short, no magic)
2. In the wrong world (based on this prompt: https://promptuarium.files.wordpress.co ... 225&h=300; male/adult protagonist, short)
3. Unstarry sky (short, real world story, no magic)
4. Girl of stars (structured poem[nonet])
Last edited by TheBlueCat on Tue May 15, 2018 6:01 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Tue May 01, 2018 7:46 pm
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Cadi says...



Let's do this!

My Comfort Zone:
-- worldbuilding - extensive "non-fiction" on speculative settings
-- speculative fiction (typically with a focus on the mundane)
-- short magical realism (typically with not much action)
-- lots of implied communication through small actions & body language

Things that make me anxious to write:
-- realistic settings, sans magic
-- overtly emotional scenes
-- first person present?
-- longer short stories (1500+ words)
-- fast-paced action?
-- personal non-fiction
-- personal stuff full-stop, tbh
-- non-terse dialogue
-- visual description


Attempts:
1. Disco 2000s
2. Star or Aeroplane?
3.
4.
Last edited by Cadi on Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:32 pm, edited 3 times in total.
"The fact is, I don't know where my ideas come from. Nor does any writer. The only real answer is to drink way too much coffee and buy yourself a desk that doesn't collapse when you beat your head against it." --Douglas Adams




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Wed May 02, 2018 12:36 am
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Meshugenah says...



I may need to attempt this.

My Comfort Zone:
Poetry! But, specifically, free verse poetry. Generally introspective.
Things that make me anxious to write:
Prose. Structured poetry. Narrative style poetry (i.e. the faerie queen, which makes me want to rip my eyeballs out with a pick)
Attempts:
1.
2.
3.
4.
***Under the Responsibility of S.P.E.W.***
(Sadistic Perplexion of Everyone's Wits)

Medieval Lit! Come here to find out who Chaucer plagiarized and translated - and why and how it worked in the late 1300s.

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Wed May 02, 2018 2:40 am
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Shady says...



Sounds fun! I'd been kicking around with an idea outside my comfort zone anyhow, so this is the perfect excuse to force myself to write it :mrgreen:

Spoiler! :

My Comfort Zone:
Teenage female protagonists, lots of action, fight scenes, complex intertwining arcs between different characters

Things that make me anxious to write:
Male main characters, villains, focusing on internal motivation/emotions

Attempts:
1.
2.
3.
4.


"u and rina are systematically watering down the grammar of yws" - Atticus
"From the fish mother to the fish death god." - lehmanf
"A fish stole my identity. I blame shady" - Omni
[they/he]




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Wed May 02, 2018 2:45 am
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ellasnotebook says...



imma be real: i dont have time for this and will most likely cop out, but im gonna try anyways

Spoiler! :
My Comfort Zone: flash fiction(vague, fantastical, and cynical in nature), poetry, fantasy, light and humorous stories with almost middle grade tones and themes, "wacky" plots and characters, comedic and ridiculous scenes
Things that make me anxious to write: romance, contemporary, anything with a focus on mental illness or grief, stage scripts, songs, science fiction, first person, more serious themes that are outright serious without hiding behind humor, historical fiction, horror/mystery that isn't largely vague and has an actual plot, anything longer than 600 words lol
Attempts:
1.
2.
3.
4.




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Wed May 02, 2018 2:50 am
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StellaThomas says...



I mean, I'd better do my own, right?! I'll be back to talk with everyone too. It sounds like I'm not the only one with trouble writing realistic fiction!

My Comfort Zone: low fantasy and fairytale retellings. Character driven stories. Romance - as both a plot and subplot. Strong female friendships and sisters. People using traditionally feminine qualities to do big things. Protagonists in their teens and twenties.
Things that make me anxious to write: war, action, plot driven stories. Older characters. Realistic settings. High fantasy or high sci fi.
Attempts:
1. Next Summer
2.
3.
4.


Is high sci fi a thing? XD

Also guys, what I meant specifically about copping out of this is writing something IN your comfort zone and pretending it isn't. If you don't have the time to commit that's a different story! :) but even if you manage one, that's an achievement right?
"Stella. You were in my dream the other night. And everyone called you Princess." -Lauren2010




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Wed May 02, 2018 7:07 am
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Cadi says...



I mean, we can probably MAKE high sci-fi a thing xD More usually the divide is hard/soft, like 2001: A Space Odyssey vs Star Wars.

I am absolutely counting one piece as a success for this! But obviously getting all 4 done would be, like, super bonus good. (Tbh, my comfort zone is also "not finishing things", so, er. Extra challenge there!)
"The fact is, I don't know where my ideas come from. Nor does any writer. The only real answer is to drink way too much coffee and buy yourself a desk that doesn't collapse when you beat your head against it." --Douglas Adams




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Wed May 02, 2018 9:26 am
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StellaThomas says...



Right yes I'm replying to all of you.

@izanami - I mean I don't know if it's necessary to write about things you're anti if you feel really strongly about something? Unless it was like me and prams/buggies/strollers. I HATE them. So if I wrote a short with a mother wheeling her kid around then that would be outside my comfort zone. But that's a frivolous thing. I don't think it's the same for like political things you actually believe in xD

@Sujana- Okay but I could only write a cishet romance except for side plot because I'm worried about doing something wrong. But we shouldn't worry because love is love right? SWAPSIES??

@Lareine- I read your post, and all I see is "SPACE WESTERN" like some bureaucrat has stamped across it. But I think you'd be brill at writing one. Also I think they're a great concept >.>

@Holysocks - yeah it's so hard to diversify in age isn't it? I'm much the same. I think I need to write a 50 yo businessman or something for one of these.

@scribbleinks - omg second-hand embarrassment! I don't think I could write it either! Although I think maybe it's a good thing you can't write fan fic. Not because it's bad, but because a lot of people are the opposite and find it hard to write anything but fan fic once they're in the habit!

@Elinor- it's funny because you were one of the people I was thinking about in whose writing I recognise similar themes! Which is good because it proves that there are certain things that your passion for has never waned... or at least, that's what I tell myself about fairytales >.> hey, wanna swap? I'll write something set in 20th century America and you can write a fantasy fairy tale retelling xD it'll be fun and/or an *utter trainwreck*

@BlueAfrica - oh my gosh, the revision jitters. No. I'm running. Running fast! I'm so shocked you find description difficult, I bet you'd be brilliant at it. Can we have a long description of a scarf Edna is knitting? It'd be a dream come true.

@TheBlueCat - so many of these ring true for me I don't even know where to begin. I don't even know why I find it hard to write adult characters- I'm 25!! Maybe I just don't want to write about people who have to have jobs and pay rent.

@Cadi - now I'm a bit sad because everything on your comfort list is something I want to read. But I'm sure you're capable of making something great not on the list too.

Yeah I got my words mixed up and said soft fantasy and high sci fi. I blame the heat and not enough iced coffee.

@Meshugenah. I want you to write a short story. Pleeeeease. It would actually be incredible. Turn your poet skills into lyrical description!

@ShadowVyper- so many of your "comfort zone" ones are things that give *me* anxiety. I couldn't! Action? Complex plots? Teach me your ways!

@ellasnotebook - right so sounds like I need to read more of what you write to start off with. Mental illness is tricky- I worked in mental health all this year and I still don't think I have the wherewithal to write it! I'd be interested to see what you come up with though!
"Stella. You were in my dream the other night. And everyone called you Princess." -Lauren2010







If it wasn't for poetry, I couldn't express myself.
— Rosendorn