On Fiction...

My primary writing style is non-fiction. At least that is what I get paid to write so I tend to focus on it. However, like many writers, I read a lot and most of that tends to be fiction.

I recently started reading the popular Divergent series by Veronica Roth. Many other readers have compared it to the Hunger Games most likely because of the post-apocalyptic landscape and teenage female lead. These sorts of books are very popular and seem to transcend their young adult category. There are many other similar books on the market. My favorites are actually Rampant and Ascendent by Diana Peterfreund. These buck the system by being a series of only two books and they feature some awesome Unicorns, for which I am a sucker.

As I said, though, I write mostly non-fiction but occasionally I find myself playing around with fiction. Recently I wrote a short story called The Bell Curve. It too takes place in a future where things aren't precisely ideal and there is the spark of a strong, young female lead.

The story wasn't born out of the idea of writing a copy-cat novel. I was just genuinely thinking what a world would look like where only the smartest people were allowed to advance in society. Then I thought about what would happen when average and below-average people were taken out of the equation. What would that do to the "bell curve?" Where would that lead our society?

While reading Divergent I got to wondering about this story a little more. If I were to try my hand at some world building exercises, character profiles, and outlining, could I create a compelling story about Margery and a world where people are only judged based on an ever-shrinking idea of intelligence?

January is a perfect time for new beginnings and to start new projects. I think I will add these exercises to my schedule and see what I can develop.


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