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Thursday, 25 April 2013

V is for - Versatile

Essential Tools For Writers - Maria A Smith
The versatile writer is someone who can turn their hand to anything. I believe we can all try, and maybe, broaden our horizons while we're about it!

Writing in different genres, or about different topics, in many forms is a great opportunity, or perhaps you're a bit of a butterfly writer like me. I struggle to settle to anything for long, and thrive on tackling lots of different pieces of writing at the same time.

For instance. I'm blogging articles on writing every day this month, writing short flash fiction pieces, as well as editing a scene from the second draft of a third novel. I'm also rethinking my first novel, and subbing a short story to a competition, and writing a letter to a  magazine in the hopes I'll win a jar of face cream!

Blimey! That is a long list. Now I know why - I wish I had more time. But seriously, a few years ago, I wrote an article on the Marie Curie Cancer Care charity. A challenge set by the writers group I attended at the time, I was very last minute choosing my topic, in fact, shopping in Tesco, the night before, (I am the Queen of last minute!) I saw the charity's collection tin standing at the side of the till, and I thought that will do as a topic!

When I got home, I read up on Marie Curie herself, and set to and wrote a 1000 word article on her, and her contribution to science, as well as the one on the charity. However,  Marie Curie's story left such an impact, it stayed with me for days afterwards.

So much so, I then went on and wrote a piece of flash fiction based on what happened to someone else who was close to Marie Curie around the time of her death. As well as a longer piece of writing, involving a character in the background of her life.

I really enjoyed the experience of doing several things connected with one topic, once I had done the initial research, ideas came to me, it was a challenge to come up with ideas for the writing, I enjoyed it and it made me versatile, and eager to write.

Have you got extra mileage out of a piece of writing? Did it lead onto something else? Has writing a short story, made you write a song? Or vice versus? Maybe a novel you wrote, led onto something else?

How versatile are you?

9 comments:

  1. I'm like you, Maria - all over the place with lots of stuff at the same time - and I'm also finding it invigorating and beneficial to my writing.

    It's similar to music, in that if you only ever play one genre of music and never push yourself out of your comfort zone to find new influences and styles, you won't grow as an artist. You may become an expert at one style, but you will lack the versatility that you have talked about.

    And, yes, I have plans to turn a few of my songs in to short stories, or at least as the basis for short stories. Good post again!

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    1. Songs are brilliant for gleaning short story ideas... :-)

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  2. I've not tried to write a song, but I've written a wide variety of styles and genres. I love to explore concepts, so having the freedom to just write is brilliant.

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    1. Hi Lynda, I've not written a song yet either, but I'm up for the challenge one day.

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  3. Good point, Maria and well made. My novel came out of a short story I wrote and now I have some ideas for short stories based on some the characters. However maybe I should move on and write about something else – be more versatile.

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    1. No, its a great idea to write some short stories around your novel. ;-)

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  4. I'm not a writer but a blogger but that is a form of writing. I've always wanted to develop my skills and had a dream to write something more significant, dare I say it even my own book but I'm talking about the far off future not now. I'm not ever sure that will ever happen but I enjoy reading your posts and all the advice you give as even with my blogging I feel it can help.

    :)

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    1. Thank you Kate, I count blogging as writing! ;-) Why don't you take the plunge and have a go at writing that book, you'll never know until you try...

      Come back and let me know when you've started. :-)

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  5. Wow, busy girl!! Best wishes with your writing!!

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I really appreciate you taking the time to leave me a comment, and I try to reply to every one. Many thanks!