Following the White Rabbit

Let’s say you’re walking along, minding your own business, when BAM a story idea waylays you.  It’s interesting, it’s fun, it has all the information you need to sit down and get going.

Let us also assume that you are in a place where you can pick up a new project.

The problem?  It’s not your genre.  Or it’s not your age range.  Or it’s a new style, an unfamiliar POV, an uncomfortable narrator.  Something about it doesn’t fit in your writing niche.

What would you do?  (Or what have you done in the past?)  Do you let the story idea move on, looking for its next victim?  Or do you give it a try anyway, knowing that you have no experience in this area and may never write another book like it in your life?  Do you have limits (i.e. is something out of character okay for a short story, but not for a novel)?

(On a related note, anyone have any good examples of fantasy novels for 6-9 year olds?)

One response to this post.

  1. Interesting topic, as I’m in the middle of “The Pillars of the Earth”. In the foreword, Ken Follett mentions this, or at least something very similar. His genre was typically spy thrillers, but he had a passion for cathedrals he developed as a young man and had wanted to write a story about the building of one. When he finally did, it became his best-selling and most-loved book.

    I guess the lesson is that if you have a great idea or a passion unrelated to your normal milieu, follow it, go for it. On the other hand, it probably didn’t hurt that by the time he did finish that novel he already had a name for himself and reputation as a best-selling author, even if the genre was different.


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