Writing Tips

Getting out of your Comfort Zone

The way you’ve always done things is sort of innate at this point. There are certain ways you do things–like the direction you cross your arms or what hand you write with–that are preferences you developed at a young age. Most people go their whole lives without thinking about it or trying to change it. After all, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it, right? Well, sometimes it needs to be broken.

Becoming complacent is one of the worst things a writer can do. Writing the same plot over again, using the same characters. Of course, this works for some. There wouldn’t be so many harlequin romance books if it didn’t! But most of us aren’t romance writers. The same cliched plots show up in other genres as well–most notably fantasy and YA. I don’t know if it’s a lack of imagination or perhaps all the stories really have been told. Either way, it gets old.

So what do you do? You don’t want to be boring and cliche, but you’ve fallen into a rut. You’ve always written sarcastic characters and you’re having trouble defining each one as a separate person. It’s hard when it’s just you. You are who you are and you have a “type.” It’s time to break out of the predictable and get out of your comfort zone.

  1. Take your favorite type of character and write the complete opposite. A fan of the sarcastic assholes? Write the sweetest, most thoughtful person.
  2. Write in a new way–try handwriting or a typewriter or whatever might give you a boost.
  3. Change locations. Go to a cafe or move to the living room.
  4. Do some research on the typical plots and assess where they can be shaken up and then do it.
  5. Try a genre you never touch.
  6. Read a book in a genre you don’t typically read
  7. Pick a trope and write it completely opposite

It’s easy to get stuck doing what you do and forgetting that there’s so much more out there. Don’t be afraid to break out of the box once in a while and get a new perspective on things!

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