Me Evolving

My wife loves a good countdown, especially the ones on VH1.  I think she was watching the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time and ABBA came up.  While they’re profiling the band they cut to Corey Taylor and says something like, “Yeah, I like ABBA.  What.”  For those not familiar, Corey Taylor is the lead singer of Slipknot; a metal band as heavy as it comes.

So if you’d like to hear the difference, we have ABBA and Slipknot.

The differences between the two are endless and you’d think based on the music Slipknot plays, Corey would be more into music like that.  At the time when Slipknot debuted, they were a breath of fresh air in the metal community and ABBA may have had something to do with this.

Let me explain.

If you asked Corey Taylor his influences, I’m sure he’d name a bunch of rock/metal bands, but there would also be some more usual picks like ABBA.  That tells me his mind is open.  He’s thinking on more levels than just rock music which in turn affects his songwriting.  He won’t be writing Dancing Queen anytime soon, but he might hear something in ABBA’s sound or in the way their songs are written that would work for his band.

Last year in discovering ebooks and the indie movement, I learned there was a lot of romance authors.  I’ll be honest, I definitely fell into the “I don’t read romance and if I did happen to read one, I’d call something else.” crowd.  I had nothing against the genre.  My perception of it was just distorted.  After getting to know some bloggers and reading about their books, I found myself interested in their stories despite the romance label.

So I tried them out and really liked them.  I was a romance reader and looking back I realized I was a romance reader along.  Heck, I was a romance fan and didn’t know it.

I was very angry with Kelly when she dumped Zack for that douche working at The Max.  I couldn’t believe Vaughn got remarried after Sydney was “dead” for like, thirty seconds!

So . . . getting back to the point.

What jumped out the most to me was the skill these authors had at taking complex emotions and putting them into words.  Of course I’d seen that in books I’d read (horror/thriller/mystery), but not to the extent as these books.  Immediately, I saw where my writing needed improvement.

If I want to be a great writer, I need to be well-rounded and step out of my comfort zone once in a while.  There’s a definite style to each genre that will only help me with my own writing.  I think this is something all writers can benefit from and why stop at books?  Maybe this week, instead of watching Sandra Bullock find love again, pick out something else.  If you don’t like reading the newspaper, buy one anyway and try to find a section that catches your eye.  This week, use your imagination (you know you’ve got a fantastic one) and stimulate your brain with something new.

And when you do, come back and comment on it!

Follow my ROW80 progress every Wednesday and Sunday and be here Tuesdays and Thursdays for new posts on me, writing, superheroes, monsters, comics and any other geeky stuff on my mind.

Also this Friday on a very special edition of me, I’ll be reviewing a short story by Draven Ames called The Nothingness.  If you want to read it before the review, just click the story title.

15 comments on “Me Evolving

  1. I swear we are so in sync now, man-twin, that it’s freaking me out. As this hit my inbox, I was writing a post (to publish at some point) about a book I finished last night that seemed way outside what I usually read–and yet somehow wasn’t. Now I feel like I’ve been working ahead and have already done the homework. Woohoo!

    And effing Vaughn, what the hell? That sucked and I hated it. Great post.

  2. Great post, Andrew! I was stuck reading only certain things myself. Probably an influence from my mom who only read books that the time period was nothing past horse and buggy days. 😀

    I’ve really branched out the last few years and have found some wonderful books and authors that I never might have read. My friend Lauralynn Elliott loaned me a Stephen King book (that I never would have read in a million years) and I really loved it. Since she started indie publishing her books I’ve been following her and have found oodles and oodles of indie authors with great stories!

    Can’t wait to read what you are working on Andrew. I know you’ve been working hard on it!

  3. Good post.

    I might be a freak among writers/readers. I’ll read anything with words. But I think you’re right about the way us writers sometimes get stuck in the muck of whatever genre we prefer. I think that can taint our writing and our creative process. By stepping into other genres we’re feeding our subconscious with new possibilities.

    Straight up romances aren’t my thing at all. Neither are westerns. My mom loved both of them so I ended up reading a lot of them and I still remember the few that stuck out because they were well written and the characters were vivid. The latest craze – because of the impending zombie apocalypse – is zombies. I’d never watched them in movies or read any books on them. But I know a trend when I see one. lol So I watched 28 days (not the typical what’s to be scared of shambling horde bunch, these guys. Hell no, they RAN!) and it scared the crap out of me. Good! That’s now lurking down in my subconscious and I’ll be able to pull on that in my writing.

    The more types of writing we read the more material we have to use in the crafting of our own stories.

    Right on, Dude!

    • Zombies. You’ve now forced me to give you recommendations.

      The Walking Dead. Awesome TV show, but the comic book still blows it away. Pulls. No. Punches.

      Night of the Living Dead. Classic and despite the title, it’s more of a “These people would never be caught dead in a room together, but since they are, they’ll have to work together if they want to survive,” movie.


  4. I like this post! Very well put and very true. I’ve always been into reading comic books and science fiction, but in recent years, a friend of mine inadvertently showed me how much literature has changed. She writes these beautiful, poignant, and sometimes uber witty pieces usually about love in all it’s forms and I was stunned. It’s not something I had thought of. It really made me reevaluate my own writing.

  5. Slipknot, yay! Abba…not so much. LOL

  6. […] it to say that I really enjoyed it. This book was a great package, a book outside my usual reading zone that delivered on a lot of levels. […]

  7. […] reminded me of a post I wrote a year ago called Me Evolving about broadening my reading horizons to be a more well-rounded writer. It also received […]

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