And so I prepare. Mostly by shoveling down books and binging Netflix. Last chance to experience stories other than mine until December. I read some in November, but the lesser amount combined with the word dump of doing a first draft in a month, makes for a blank brain.
In October, I make a point to read outside my genre. I’ve sang outside-the-genre praises before. I’m going to sing again, right now. Different genres use different words and that’s a good thing. Beyond the obvious (orcs, happily ever after, and perp), and into terms that mean the same thing, but expressed different. My oldest kid vs. firstborn son vs. Detective Ramos’ kid, the one with the good grades.
Having another genre’s words on the brain makes for vivid characters and interesting dialogue. If someone in modern times refers to their child as a firstborn son, that’s giving away a lot of info. Are they a medievalist? A Men’s Rights dildo? Purposely misgendering? Correctly and proudly announcing a newly transitioned son? An inside joke within the family due to a particularly onerous evening at Medieval Times?
That’s the sort of succinct information delivery that makes me swoon and see a little bit of jealous green on the remainder of the page when I read it in someone else’s work. And makes me fist pump when I manage it in my own.