Experimental Writing #IWSG Wednesday

It’s the 1st Wednesday of the month again. That’s when I take part in Alex J. Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group.  The awesome co-hosts for the July 1 posting of the IWSG are Jenni Enzor, Beth Camp, Liesbet, Tyrean Martinson, and Sandra Cox! Today I will be looking at experimental writing as I answer the July 1st IWSG question:

There have been many industry changes in the last decade, so what are some changes you would like to see happen in the next decade?

Cesar Montufar

I’ve read a few experimental books and they often blow my mind. One was the story of a Vietnam Vet. The Author, Cesar Montufar played with the point of view. There were two: First-person present tense was used to tell the story of the Vietnam part of the soldier’s life, the most personal, real narrative. The other point of view was third-person limited. This was used to describe the current time, post-Vietnam. Recovery, so distant, and as if it is for someone else to talk about. Not only does he alternate between the two points of view, but he also plays with time. Moving forward in the present narrative and backward in the Vietnam narrative.

When I first began reading this book, I didn’t like it. I don’t like the first-person present. But I soon realized that it was a work of genius. By the end of the book, I was in awe at what I had just read, at what this author had accomplished. I can’t link to the book at this time because it isn’t yet on the market. But watch for anything by Cesar Montufar. It is sure to be good.

Alex Landragin

I’m currently reading a book called “Crossings” by Alex Landragin,  which is also experimental. The introduction explains that the book can be read backward and forwards. With an e-reader, this is easier than ever. This book can be purchased by pre-order. It will be available on July 28th, 2020.

Why be Experimental?

I don’t think that writers should try to be experimental just for the sake of it, but we should be trying new things. What is it that will set this period apart from the others? We need to do something that moves our artistic expression forward. For better or for worse, everyone has an opportunity to be published. This is what the last 10 years have given us. Much of what is now on the market is crap. We must sift through it and earn our place on the bookshelf of history. I believe that honing our craft and experimenting will take us there.

What Are YOUR Thoughts?

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Author, Heather Erickson's Headshot

About Heather Erickson

I am an author, writer, and speaker and homeschooling mom of 3. Since doctors diagnosed my husband, Dan, with stage IV lung cancer in 2012, I’ve focused my writing and speaking on helping cancer patients and their families advocate for themselves and live life to the fullest, despite their illness. My goal is to help people face cancer with grace. My books are available at Amazon.com:

The Memory Maker’s Journal 

Facing Cancer as a Friend: How to Support Someone Who Has Cancer

Facing Cancer as a Parent: Helping Your Children Cope with Your Cancer

I also blog about living with cancer at Facing Cancer with Grace.


5 thoughts on “Experimental Writing #IWSG Wednesday”

  1. Interesting take, Heather. Lee Child wrote a book that should be read backwards which just didn’t work for me. Alex took that a step further. I’ll be curious to see if that works.

    • Hi Jacqui, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about this one, but I was completely engrossed in the story, and since it took place over generations, it worked well.

  2. To me, “experimental” goes hand in hand with “alternative” and if there is any thinking outside the box possible, I’m in! Whether it is with my lifestyle (being a nomad since 2003) or my writing (inventing my own words, being brutally honest, and creating a writing style that is my own, with – sarcastic) -humor that nobody gets). The problem is that experimental writing might put a lot of people off unless it is done in a brilliant way. And, how is one to define what is brilliant? Or, how to make your work “brilliant”?

  3. I wonder what reading a book backwards actually means? Quite interesting to think about. We do have a lot more scope to do things differently than we ever had with traditional publishing. But I don’t think being experimental should detract from the story and characters. It’ll be good to see what other developments arise.

  4. I’ve never much liked “experimental” as I have a hard time getting into it. But if it works, it works. Glad you found some books you liked.

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