Sometimes I just give myself a weird assignment. I write something outside my usual frame of reference, try a new genre, shift the perspective or simply try something that shakes things up.
I call it stretching my writer muscles. And, just like muscles that grow stiff from lack of use or fail to grow because you’re doing the same workout every day, these exercises are just for the experience and not necessarily geared toward creating something worth sharing.
Last week I was feeling a little stuck in the mud. The novel I spent the better part of last year working on is in the “vault” awaiting a redraft with a fresh perspective. The new novel-in-progress stalled as I neared the “time to give this to someone objective to read” page count (page 50). I was noodling around with various ideas and then I had a dream about a robot.
Yes, I’ve been known to have dreams that fall into fiction genres. This was the first science fiction dream in a long, long time and I didn’t know what to do with the robot working in a futuristic factory. So I made a point of pondering the robot’s plight and…. Lo and Behold… I got a story out of it. Is it good? Not sure —yet. I’ll let it rest for a little while and if it pings a little on the story Richter scale, I’ll post it. If not…. no problem —I was just stretching my muscles.
(It’s called “Model T-5” and it’s on the Timeless Tales Page! I decided to see what other people (and robots) think…)