The Horror! Jumping In (September Theme) by Bob Krech

Did you ever get an idea for a story and then almost immediately tell yourself, "I have no business writing this. I'm not a (fill-in-the-blank) writer. Not my genre. I would have no idea how to do it."

Most all of my fiction has some sort of sports theme or context. I pepper things heavily with humor and middle school and high school angst. That's kind of what I write when I'm not writing books on teaching math. But during the last two years I've written a draft of a story about a teenage voodoo princess in the low country of South Carolina and a collection of short horror stories.

I know what started it. I was reading Steven King's book On Writing. It's the only Steven King book I've read. I don't read horror or fantasy, but I do read books about writing. In On Writing, King mentions the drive-in horror movies he loved as a kid as well as the Classic Comics and how they inspired him. He made me think of all those horror movies I watched growing up and all the television shows I enjoyed like The Outer Limits and Twilight Zone. Then I got an idea for a scary short story and just started writing.

Sensible Brain told me, "Whoah. Put the brakes on. You don't know what you're doing. You have no business doing this. This is not what your editors want or your readers expect. It's not going to go anywhere. Don't waste your valuable time." Fun Brain responded, "This feels fun though, right? Go ahead. What the heck. See what happens. Jump in."

So I just went with it. I jumped in and started writing. One short story lead to four more and then the novel. It's been a lot of fun and kind of liberating in a way to jump in to another genre and kick around in there. Plus, I am liking the results.

Sometimes you have to listen to Fun Brain and just go with it. You just have to jump in and see what happens.


  1. I usually hear those thoughts when I hit the middle of a book. Sometimes, you have to find a way to jump in again when you're halfway through a new project, too!

  2. Bob, I wrote and posted my piece before reading yours just now - we're both on the same page, wondering about the pluses and minuses of doing something completely different. Your piece makes me feel a bit more hopeful about my own departure from my own norm.


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