You have no clue where the idea for your latest WIP came from.
When it first materialised inside your head your initial reaction was one of utter shock.
“Oh my goodness, this idea for a (in my case romance) story is weird,” you whispered.
A helpful loved one laughed and made the mistake of saying, “try me…I love weird stuff.”
So, you told them about your bizarre romance plot. Their wide eyes and gaping mouth said a lot.
So did their inability to say anything for five minutes once you had finished.
“But there is something inviting and delicious about about this bizarre romance,” you explained.
Your loved one scratched his head and cast you that familiar odd look. The same one he used to give you when you were belting out your karaoke Cher pop classic or clearing the dance floor at a party with your unique dance moves.
To try and justify your idea about a romance between two very eccentric and quirky characters you recited a quote you’d read:
“Fall in love with a weird one – someone not quite right in the head – life is far more interesting when love is odd.”
As your loved one walked away shaking his head in disbelief you heard him say to the dog, “she has some really weird ideas about romance. I am just glad I’m the normal one in this marriage.”
When will our loved ones learn we are writers and we get our creative thrills from weird stuff?
So, what do I mean by a weird story?
This is fiction where the characters have either entered into a place unfamiliar to most of us, or they themselves are a little irregular. It could also be perceived ‘weird’ to others if you are breaking free from your genre comfort zone.
Before I talk about how you survive this literary challenge I want to tell you about the things you will encounter as you start to write.
Working on a weird story is a bitter-sweet writing experience.
I shall explain why:
Bucket loads of self-doubt.
If you think the self-doubt levels are bad on a bulk standard story you should try writing a totally weird story. When writing an odd tale your inner critic will go wild. Seriously, they will explode.
Expect the following from your inner critic:
“Is this romance a joke?”
“You have really lost your marbles this time.”
“Excuse me – is anyone going to read this?”
Bucket loads of creative euphoria.
When you work on a weird tale you will experience crazy levels of creative euphoria.
Expect to mutter the following whilst at your writing desk:
“Why haven’t I written weird romance before?”
“The buzz I am getting from writing this weird story is better than… [enter favourite pleasurable activity].
“Characters who are a bit strange are AMAZING!”
The creative high you will get from writing a weird story will be like no other.
If you want to really enjoy yourself – write something a bit strange!
So, how do you survive writing the weird story?
Don’t over think the weirdness or you will end up writing nothing. Just stick with it and see where your story leads you.
In this life everyone is a little weird. You might consider yourself as ‘normal’ – but if you are really honest with yourself – you might even admit that you could be ‘slightly irregular’.
Remember what you think is weird might be normal to some readers.
Weird characters are interesting and are always bound to stick in the minds of your readers.
Stop questioning why you are writing something a little strange.
Sometimes the stories we write act like bridges to others. Maybe you need to follow this idea as it could lead to something else?
There is nothing wrong with exploring.
Read this amazing paragraph from an article on weird stories. It explains what writing about strange stuff is all about.
Just as in real life, things don’t always quite add up, the narrative isn’t quite what we expected, and in that space we discover some of the most powerful evocations of what it means to be human or inhuman.
Embrace your weird tale and enjoy the creative ride!