Much like the Not Ready for Primetime Players, there is a group of amazingly talented authors on the cusp of stardom. They gather here at the Not so Famous Author's Blog to tell you all about writing and smashing your head on a desk. No just the writing part. .


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Writing Out of the Box (Or How I Learned to Give Complacency the Bird)

If you had told me a year ago to “write out of the box”, this is what it would have looked like.
Only with more hissing and spitting. Someone would lose an eye.

When I first started this little journey of writering, I was awfully quick to label myself. *insert snooty tone here* “I am a Paranormal Romance Author.” (Yes, those capitals are all deserved, thank you very much.) After all, that’s what I had written: a paranormal romance. All this time spent researching vampire lore - the heart of my paranormal undertaking, thinking up new and creative ways to build on said lore, and basically immersing myself in all things fangy for a good long while.

This was it: I had a plan. A series in the works. I will write vampires.
Okay, so not quite like this. But hey, Gary Oldman.

Until I didn’t.

*80’s record screech*
You took the words right out of my mouth, Tom.

Exactly. I found myself being prodded (in only good ways, mind you) to examine the wonders of other genres. Not just reading them, but WRITING them. Really. Before I knew it, I was looking at a handful of books which featured me doing something as insane as NOT writing vampires. A special thanks should go here to my publisher, Moon Rose Publishing, for not only steering me in this direction, but encouraging me the whole time.

And with that, I punched a hole in the box. My first venture didn’t take me too far out of my “paranormal” comfort zone. I penned a magically sexy little tale involving dreams, Shades, and the Sandman. It went well, and was fun to write. Now, back to the vampires.

On the second go-round my brain, I have to admit, went a little nuts. A Steampunk Snow White? It’s okay. Roll your eyes. You won’t be the first. However, this rip-roaring little beast lit a fire under me like you would not believe. I had no idea that I had a story like this dwelling anywhere inside my twisted little imagination.

“Miss Cavendish and the Spark of Salvation” was the eye-opener for me. I was no longer constrained by my own label. I could actually write whatever I wanted. *gasp* And it wasn’t too shabby. The tiny little pings to my ego when I read a really great book in another genre were no longer saying, “You couldn’t do that if you tried” to “You could totally rock this”.

With that little story, I moved on to the next hurdle, which brought me full circle with my romance reading past. The ubiquitous historical. I cut my teeth on bodice-ripping Vikings, and strapping, kilted Highland lairds, devastatingly rakish Victorian dukes, and drop-dead sexy Texas gunslingers.
I should be sorry for using this. But I'm so not. The mullet is truly eye-catching. I may swoon.

So, I set this one in medieval Ireland and sat back and let the brain have its wicked way with these people as the cardboard slowly crumbled around me. I tried very hard, I really did, but in the end that teeny little paranormal part of me couldn’t quite give up the ghost, so I added in a dash of sexy selkie to shut it up.

Hindbrain appeased, I moved on. Urban Fantasy. Hell to the motherlovin’ yeah. Bad ass fallen angels, demons, guns, gore, violence, and you guessed it, more sex. Sort of like my vampires, but not my vampires.

Which brings me to the final finishing move to judo-chop the snot out of this writing box. It’s something I’m working on now, probably to be released next year. This is so far out of my comfort zone, I had to set in the future. Dystopian with a bit of sci-fi. The romance (if you could call it that) is incidental and inevitable. If I were to describe this book to you in two sentences it would be this: Think The Hunger Games meets X-Men meets Gladiator meets Logan’s Run. With a splash of Brokeback Mountain.

Really. It's going to be amazing.
When I finished the six-page outline for this bad boy, I immediately knew I had given my box a jaunty view of my middle finger. This piece is so far out of my comfort zone sometimes I think I won’t ever find my way back. But then I sit down and immerse myself in the worlds and the lives I’ve created and think, “If I ever go back, I’ll be so bored.”
You and me both, Sherlock.

And boring is the last thing I want to be. So, whatever it takes….break out of your boxes. Throw off the lines and set sail for uncharted waters. Write new things. Take your stories new places.
“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” - Walt Disney

Tara S. Wood can be found lurking on the internet. Or in these fine establishments.
Moon Rose Publishing


  1. This was so fabulous I want to print it on unicorn paper and wrap it with rainbow ribbon. LOVE you Tara Wood. And your writing.

  2. I love it Tara <3 I really enjoyed reading this!!