I thought about it and I realized I couldn’t come up with any specific kind of scene I hate writing. Usually, if I have an idea for a scene and I don’t want to write it, I simply don’t write it. If I’m not enthused about writing it, it’s sure not going to be any fun for a reader to read, and that’s a great way to lose the reader. (For the record, Jen’s dislike of writing battle scenes seems to stem not from a lack of enthusiasm but from her lack of confidence in her ability to write them credibly.)
So there’s no category of scene that I hate writing, apparently. But genres, well, that’s a whole ‘nother thing.
I passionately detest writing romance. I used to read the genre, but I became bored by it, so I no longer do. I don’t mind that people write it, I certainly don’t mind if people want to read it, but I do NOT want to write it. And I’m not saying that I don’t like writing romantic storylines or romantic scenes. I have no problem at all with including a romance within the context of my story – in fact, chances are good that I will if the plot seems open to it. But I can’t stand writing a story that exists solely for the purpose of putting two characters together romantically.
Recently, I participated in a screenwriting contest that required us to write short screenplays to a prompt within a randomly selected genre. In my first round, I drew the genre Romance. Blech! I had eight days to create a romance story of 12 pages or less. I forced myself to put aside my natural tendency to puke at the idea of writing romance and churned the thing out.
It was a pretty decent script. Sufficiently decent that I advanced to the next round, where I drew the Fantasy genre, much more to my liking. And that round produced what is arguably my best work, which took me to the final round, where I was given Science Fiction. That script (written within a deadline of 24 hours! Yikes!) went on to place seventh in the competition, the second honorable mention.
And none of it would have happened if I had allowed my aversion to romance to stop me from producing good work. I’m not sure what the moral is there, but I’m pretty sure there is one.
People who have read the first script have pronounced it to be a pleasurable read, but I can’t even bear to look at it. Just thinking about it makes me embarrassed. I suspect that my deeply negative feelings about the genre reflect a belief that writing something that is solely a romance makes me emotionally vulnerable in a way that is too much of a risk for me. But the fact that I have no qualms about putting romance into a larger story tells me that I’m not entirely unable to cope with emotional vulnerability, so I’ll call it good for now.
What about you? Is there a genre that you hate writing (or reading) so much that the very thought of doing so makes you want to claw out your brain?