Wednesday, November 23, 2016


A question recently asked by N. R. Williams' in a recent blog post. I thought I would answer it here, and not just because I won a place in the Parallels: Felix Was Here Anthology, but because I co-host a writing challenge called Write…Edit…Publish Blog Post, with Denise Covey. 

The WEP is a flash fiction challenge open to all writers, and we work hard to come up with a schedule of contests that offer just that, an opportunity for participants to try something new.

When most of us start out, we choose a genre and concentrate our efforts in that arena. My first choice was mystery. I thought mysteries would be my main calling, but then I found the need to branch out and found writing contests the solution.

Each writing challenge is an opportunity, not only for expression but it's a chance to learn and open yourself to other possibilities. You'll not only stretch your imagination but you'll meet a new network of people. Writers helping other writers is the key to success and, yes, even that necessary evil of marketing becomes easier as you introduce yourself to new readers via a new genre.

Have you tested the waters - tried a new genre?

Did you submit to the IWSG Anthlogoy?

Or do you limit yourself, convinced you can only 'write what you know'?

Jump in and open yourself to creativity.

Challenge yourself!

You will never, ever regret it!

To help you consider a different genre
here's a list of the tips or essentials for writing

Science Fiction, Romance, Horror or Scary,
Mysteries and Fantasy.

 1.   Science fiction is often based on scientific principles and technology.

2.   Science fiction may make predictions about life in the future.

3.   Science fiction often deals with aliens or with life on other worlds.

4.   Science fiction can comment on important issues in society.

  1.   A hero and a heroine to fall in love

  2.   A problem that creates conflict and tension between them and threatens to keep them apart

  3.   A developing love that is so special it comes about only once in a lifetime

  4.   A resolution in which the problem is solved and the couple is united.


(last month's Parallels post by Crystal Collier)

1.  The setting: your word choices and imagery should depict an ambiance that sets our nerves on end.
2.  A protagonist you like: a likable character builds the tension. 
3.  Foreshadowing: give hints, snippets that tell us something sinister is coming
4.  Building tension: up the stakes with things that really matter (like people's lives). 
5.  Surprise: that twist that changes the entire story.


1.   Characters that are engaging entertaining, and possibly, seem as though they could be the villain. 

    2.   An Intriguing Plot: a ‘hook’ that gains the reader’s interest and pulls them along with the story.

    3.  Clues and red herrings to keep the reader guessing.

    4.   Action and adventure to keep the story moving.

    5.   A healthy dose of suspense that allows the reader to connect more with the characters.


1.   Plot: almost always a natural serial sequence i.e. a hero’s journey of separation, quest, and reconciliation/salvation.

2.   Action: often based on traditional roles and archetypes rather than on personal.

3.   Setting: often medieval or magical, but can be urban or modern and often emblematic and symbolic rather than literal.

4.   Characters: wizards, witches, elves, fairies, gnomes, dwarves, goblins, trolls, sprites, angels, and devils, etc. or humans with their traits.


Also, Christine Rains recently posted a blog on the 5 Reasons to Write Paranormal. Check it out HERE!

If one of these is your genre - what characteristic  do you feel is most important to make it work?

Tell us your genre, and if you haven't yet attempted a new one - if and when you do, what would it be?

For more information on each subject, just click the title.

In my story for Parallels, Ever-Ton, 
global warming was a real thing.

IT IS a real thing.