>Outside My Realm

>I’m in the midst of editing a novel for an online friend. Only trouble is, it’s not my type of story. It’s fantasy, which I’ve read at times but which I tend to find overwrought and overly descriptive. Still, I can recognize that my friend’s done a good job avoiding the annoying parts of the genre while still staying true to the core. And I can edit almost anything for basic style, grammar, and sense, which is mainly what she wanted from me anyway.

This brings up some interesting questions. My “day job” consists of technical editing, and I’ve worked as a writer and editor in a number of different areas over the years: newspaper, magazines and journals, public relations. I’ve learnd two primary lessons—I don’t want to write for someone else for a living (because then I lose interest in writing for myself), and I don’t want to work with any subject matter that holds no interest for me, as writer or editor.

My current writing is gay romance. This is a spinoff from fan fiction I’ve written recently, but I’ve written fanfic in the past without crossing over into original fiction. I’ve tried, but it’s never worked for me. I’m not really sure what made the difference this time. I’m also writing much longer stories now than I did previously.

For those of you who are writers or editors, do you stick with a specific genre, subject matter, even length? If so, how did you get started working with that type of material? How much do you experiment outside your usual “comfort” range? Have you ever tried something new and loved it? Tried something new and found it just didn’t work for you? What do you think it is that makes the difference?

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