I accepted her challenge because I've already started writing dangerously with my current WIP. I thought I was breaking rules in a bad way, but Libba made me feel better about my rebelliousness. Here's why:
1.) I have multiple POVs in first person.
This should be a huge no-no, but my writing group says it's working.
Plus, Libba said, know your characters from every angle.
So why shouldn't the reader know them that way too?
2.) I'm writing Fantasy YA (the most over-saturated of the genres right now).
But Libba said, write YOUR story and ignore the trends.
MY story is a fantasy. I have to be true to that. No matter how many other writers I'll be up against in the query wars.
3.) I'm creating some characters and scenarios that don't feel safe.
Libba said, go places other than your first instinct.
Just because I believe in the golden rule and doing the right thing, doesn't mean my characters have to. Their world of scandals and taboo isn't a reflection on me as a person.
4.) I'm pushing myself to the limits this month (the shortest month of the year) by making it my goal to finish my first draft.
Libba said, don't blink.
Between creating new scenes, editing old ones, and trying to find the right balance of dialogue, descriptions, action, etc, I feel like I don't have time to blink. The herbal teas and flavored coffee are helping, but there aren't enough hours in the day. Still, I'm going to give it all I got.
5.) I'm becoming way too emotionally invested in my story.
But Libba said, Write with your heart and soul.
I never thought I could love any characters as much as I love my crew from The Kindrily, but I cried yesterday (twice) while editing some of my sea creature scenes. I think that's proof that I left my heart and soul in those pages.
The thing about writing is there are no guarantees. We spend hours days, months, even years creating our stories with hopes that some day, other people in the world will read them and love them as much as we do. Those of us that are educated about the world of writing know the odds of getting published--especially in this economy--are slim to none.
But we take the risk anyway.
If I had known how hard it was to get a book published, I may have never written my first novel. If I had known about writing dreaded queries, how much rejection I'd have to endure, how much learning I'd have to do, how hard I'd have to work to improve my craft, I may have never took that first leap. But, as with many things in my life, I jumped into writing a novel blindly. And once I felt that rush, the joy, the exhilaration, of creating and telling a story, I was addicted.
Libba quoted Ray Bradbury during her speech and I have to quote him too because I couldn't agree more.
"First you jump off the cliff, then you build the wings."I'm still building my wings, but I couldn't imagine never having jumped.
So, my fellow risk-takers (aka writers), are you up for the challenge of participating in the year of writing dangerously? Are you breaking rules or playing it safe?