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Experimenting With My Craft

I believe that for the most part, change is a good thing. And sometimes, change can lead to innovation and creativity. So, I try to stay creative and try new things from time to time. This also carries over into my writing. It is good to try new ways of writing, from writing in a different medium to a different genre. And while I have gotten pretty good at shifting from writing by hand to writing on my laptop, I don't know if I will ever get the hang of writing on my phone. And while I am pretty good at creative nonfiction and jumping into fiction, research essays aren't really my thing. That's okay though, because I would have never known if I had not tried it out first.

Image of a roll of film

I have even done multimedia writing. My favorite example would be when I was in graduate school. I took an elective in dark room photography (which was one of my favorite things to do in high school) and decided to create a story based on the liminal spaces I photographed. Of course, being in a dark room is time consuming and you're never quite sure how the photo is going to turn out or if someone (hopefully not!) is going to turn the lights on while you're trying to develop your film. Add to that, creating a cohesive and enthralling story and that's a lot of work. But the challenge made it more fun. And I made it a game by capturing the photos first and then writing the story instead of crafting a story and seeking out frames that would fit. I felt that it would be more organic, in some way more true, this way. And it was a really fun experience, too.

Most recently, I have decided to write without using paragraph breaks. And is it weird? Definitely. I mean, my characters talk and it all looks like one big block of text because that is exactly what it is. No scene breaks or chapter breaks. No breaks between a cliffhanger and what happens next. I kind of dread doing it, but in a way, it is entirely freeing. I don't have to worry about line breaks and figuring out what lines would add drama to the plot by standing alone. I don't have to wonder if my paragraphs are too long or too short. It is kind of illuminating how much that sort of thing mattered to me before and how much time I would spend reworking sentences and paragraphs just to get those sorts of things together. It may not seem like a lot, but those short minutes add up.

I am beginning to wonder what would happen if I wrote an entire draft like this and only broke it up during the first revision process? What would that look like? Would my words feel smoother? Would the lines seem to flow better with each other? I have so many questions!

In what ways to you experiment with your craft?

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