Frequently Asked Question: Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing?
Today’s question comes to us courtesy of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. I highly recommend a visit to the blog hop on the linked page, so you can see other peoples’ answers.
For me, the answer is an unequivocal yes. I’d love to tell you that it happens with every single new work, but that isn’t the case. Sometimes, stepping outside of my comfort zone (historical fiction) feels painful and forced. Other times, it just flows.
My favorite example is my Global eBook Awards double nominee, The Rock Star in the Mirror (or, How David Bowie Ruined My Life). I wrote and published this novella in 2012. It was my first time writing first-person present, and using a male narrator. It was also the first time that I laughed out loud at my own words; what developed from a simple concept became my first (and, so far, only) dark comedy.
Here are the first few paragraphs to whet your appetite:
So, I’m in the kitchen of The Seahorse Bed and Breakfast, prepping baskets of shrink-wrapped muffins and mini-cartons of O.J. and milk from the local dairy, when Lynnie bursts in.
Let me back up a minute.
My mom owns The Seahorse, here in Rockaway Beach, Oregon. Fifty years ago, it was nothing more than a beach cabin motel like you see all over the coast here. The baskets, in what surely constitutes the world’s greatest triumph of marketing over reality, are how Mom can call the joint a bed and breakfast. I deliver them every morning, after which I do the billing and so on. This is what I’m qualified to do, thanks to a two-year degree in hospitality services from the thriving institution of Oregon Coast Community College.
At least, if you ask my mom. She grew up at The Seahorse, taking it over when Gran’s health got too bad to run the motel. Gran’s in a home and not doing well.
Gramps passed away before I was born. My old man left no forwarding address.
Me? I’m Joe.
Lynnie always calls me Joe-the-Lion, after this ancient David Bowie song from the 1970s. She’s obsessed with the dude.
Lynnie? She’s one of our housekeepers … the other one being Mom. Lynnie’s originally from Netarts; she lives with her Pop just outside of Brown’s Camp.
Never heard of it?
I’m not surprised.