Story A Day Challenge – Day 20 – Flowers

Today’s prompt challenged us to write outside our normal genre. The problem for me is with short fiction I write in most genres. I’ve written zombie stories, ghost tales, fantasy, middle grade fantasy, a little sci-fi, literary, horror, humor, contemporary, etc. So I decided to go with a different tone.

Brian awoke suddenly. Flowers! He hadn’t bought Maggie flowers in a week. Guilt hit him as he dressed. How could he have forgotten? He rushed out and bought a bouquet of her favorite lilies. He hoped she wouldn’t feel forgotten as he laid the flowers on her gravestone.

The ghost of Maggie felt sadness wash over her as she watched her husband place the flowers. She’d believed when he didn’t buy them for a week that he was finally ready to let her go. She hoped he wouldn’t feel sad forever. If only he would smile she could move on.

The Prompt

Write a story in a genre that you wouldn’t normally write. If you’re a squeamish sort of person, try writing a gory horror story. Or if you hate everything mushy and lovey-dovey, try a tender romance. If you don’t normally write within a genre, pick one and try it out! 

I tried to come up with a ‘mushy, lovey-dovey’ romantic story but it just wasn’t in me. I also tried to do something on the erotica scale but sometimes my mother and children read this blog so I couldn’t even force an idea out let alone post something like that! So I stuck with sad. Most of my stories are either silly, funny, gross or have magic and dragons and such. I don’t like sad, I avoid it as much as possible. This was more out of my comfort zone than romance could ever be.

Rough draft 100 words

Sci-fi vs. Fantasy

I don’t know if this is normal or not but I love science fiction movies but I’m not really that into reading it. I adore fantasy novels but most movies in that genre don’t do it for me. Also, I don’t have the guts to try to write sci-fi. I don’t know if it is lack of interest in the books or if I don’t have confidence in my ability to pull it off.

Breaking down my lack of desire to read sci-fi, I think it has to do with how complicated those books can be. I feel like I’m smart enough to understand complex things but in a novel if two pages are needed to explain a machine or a process then I catch myself scanning. A good example of what I mean is Michael Crichton. If you read his stuff you’ll notice that he uses very technical terms and then spends pages explaining those words. Some people like that, but I’m not patient enough for that kind of thing. I’d rather have a complex story.

In all fairness I’d rather read and write page turners. I don’t see myself ever writing something that a reader would have to read slowly to understand.

Plus, magic. Magic is so awesome. It can be anything you want it to be, do anything you like. If I’m writing the story then I can make up the rules of how it works. I guess I find magic cooler than science in written form.

Now, sci-fi on TV or in movies, that’s a different story. You don’t have to be told every detail of a spaceship because you can see it. Things that are complex are easier to explain to an audience because of the visual. That’s good for me because I do want some explanation. I truly do want to understand what I’m watching. I have the opposite issue with fantasy tv and movies. I want little to no explanation of how magic works. Give me the basics and I’m happy. A good example is Aladdin. The genie says there are three things he can’t do and never really explains how he makes all the other things happen, because…Magic.

I do want a lot of complexity in the stories. Perhaps that’s why I read epic fantasy. There’s a tiny bit of description about magic and multiple complicated story lines.

So for me it’s not really a debate, I like both, in different ways, (Science Fiction is clearly friend-zoned). Also I’m shooting myself in the foot because I have a project to work on in the future that falls a little into the sci-fi category. That’s the story I’m most afraid to write. Maybe I’ll make that my nanowrimo project next year.