Wednesday, September 7, 2022

The Insecure Writer's Support Group-September 2022


It's the first Wednesday of the month, and that means it's time to convene another meeting of The Insecure Writer's Support Group. Our leader Alex J. Cavanaugh has assembled a great group of co-hosts for this month: Kim Lajevardi, Cathrina Constantine, Natalie Aguirre, Olga Godim, Michelle Wallace, and Louise-Fundy Blue.

Be sure to check out the IWSG website for lots of great writing resources!

First of all, I would like to congratulate all of the authors involved in the latest IWSG Anthology, which is available now. It's called First Love: The Art of Making Doughnuts. It sounds sweet, right? Why not check it out? You can find links to this anthology and all past IWSG anthologies using this link.

The optional question for this month is: What genre would be the worst for you to tackle and why?

I've tried writing plenty of genres over the years. Science fiction, fantasy, humor, and some horror. I feel more confident with some genres over others. The one genre I've never felt fully comfortable writing is historical fiction. Why? There's a ton of research involved, but that in and of itself isn't intimidating. I love research. However, in creating a realistic historical tale, I'd be afraid of messing up too many details. The occasional idiosyncracy might be one thing, but if I were to make too many mistakes, readers might judge me harshly. I might look careless and incompetent. Weaving history and fiction together can be a daunting task, and I deeply admire those who do it well.

The one short story I wrote that could be considered somewhat historical is "Felix Was Here," which appeared in the first IWSG Anthology. It takes place between the 1920's and the 1940's, but it isn't truly historical fiction. It lives more in the realm of alternative history, which is science fiction. It's also less than 6,000 words long. I was comfortable enough writing it due to the length and the liberties I could take with history. Yes, research was needed, and I had to understand enough about history to make the setting believable, but I also had a lot of freedom to play around with events. That made it more fun, and I second guessed myself less.

So, that's my answer. I just find the idea of writing historicals intimidating. If you are a historical fiction writer, I'd like to tip my hat to you. You need to pay meticulous attention to historical details, norms, and customs while also crafting a compelling story. That cannot be easy.

Which genre intimidates you? Which genre can you not see yourself writing in the future?