Come join Alex J. Cavanaugh and the Insecure Writer's Support Group. We post the first Wednesday of every month! http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com/p/the-insecure-writers-support-group.html
If you followed me on the AtoZ blogging challenge this past month, you may remember my obsession with trains. I don't think any of us deep down would admit we like taking detours. If you're like me, I pride myself on getting from point A to point B as fast as I can. Sometimes I can be heard yelling at passing trains (and my kids) to hurry up. Sometimes I can be seen carrying five grocery bags, a gallon of milk, a twelve-pack of diet Coke from my car to my house to avoid making more than one trip.
A few years back, I was traveling on scenic highway 79, about a mile past the Mark Twain Cave, when I came across a train derailment. The accident had happened a few days prior (I later heard about it on the news). The twisted wreck of carnage strewn everywhere will always remind me of my love/hate relationship with trains. Of course, I had to get out of my car to explore the damage. The heaps of sleeping metal giants lay on their sides, toppled over. No other cars or people were present. It was as if I walked on to a movie set while everyone was on break.
|My son must have gotten bored and sent me this pic.|
The cause of the derailment, flood waters. The Mississippi River runs parallel to highway 79 and a set of train tracks. Some moron drove the train through the flooded tracks that had since receded when I came on the scene. I'm sad to report I have no pics of this disaster.
Sometimes we need a detour or a complete derailment to get our attention. One day last fall, I made a major decision to set aside my mystery series. I thought I'd write contemporary fiction forever. After much research and reading, I started writing my first urban fantasy, which consists of incorporating fantasy elements in an urban setting where magic isn't the norm. I'd never been compelled to write in this genre before. I don't know why, because I love sci-fi, paranormal and fantasy in books, movies, and T.V. series.
The day I decided to take a detour was one of the best days of my life. I've challenged myself to not write the usually tropes: demons, dragons, vampires, werewolves, etc. My goal is to bring something unexpected to the UF market.
Don't be afraid to take risks, take another route, try something new! Were you ever forced to take a detour or have you suffered a complete derailment in your writing? Did you get back on your feet, find your way again? Thankful for the detour?