Writing is youth. It isn’t outside the box. Stop thinking about all that advice that says break the rules, twist the genre, create something no one has ever created before! Get rid of all those ultimatums in your head and actually do it. Open that Toy Box!
Writing in many ways is play-acting. You are creating an imaginative world. Even if you describe a real world setting that you know intimately, one must put a spin on the senses, invoke feelings, and let strangers reading your books know what it is like to be here or there ten, fifty, one hundred years from now. How can you do that if you simply sit at your desk, K-cups, internet and all? Even when writing a completely serious decidedly non-childlike manuscript, you should behave in a child like manner during the initial writing composition. Return to your youthful memories, sense of wonder, and life altering experiences to make your paper world come to life.
Does your character hate au gratin potatoes and fish sticks because you yourself had horrible experiences with gross cheese clumps and limp, pasty fish? Write it down! It’s not dumb. Never think anything you write is too dumb. So long as it says something important about the character’s mind and personality or motivations in your text, any quirk or mannerism that creates a fully developed person and reader embodiment is a good thing!
And speaking of embodiment, how can you expect readers to inhabit your work if you don’t do so yourself? I’m not saying you have to kill someone for your horror or sleep with many people for your erotica, but finding ways to experience the times, places, thoughts, and feelings of your characters and manuscript environment should be paramount. How do you know if your character hates corsets unless you try one on yourself? Maybe she-or he!- actually finds them quite comfortable because you went to a fancy lingerie store and got fitted yourself. And hey, check out those adult shops to spice up that erotica or use Weird NJ as your roadmap to creepy or notorious places. And what do you do with all these newfound experiences of yours? Write them down!
It’s all fine and dandy to write with a quill on antique paper as your players may have done. Dress up like them before the pc, even! Don’t scoff. Just ask yourself, ‘Why not?’ Try wearing a wig in your character’s style to the grocery store and see what happens. Do your neighbors already think you’re a whirlwind of fun? Or will you surprise someone, maybe even yourself?
Use the physical freedoms and whimsy already about you to free your mind and imagination. After a seemingly drastic character embodiment experiment, it becomes easier to find your story sources in everyday things. Can you fit in your kitchen in a hoop skirt? Would your glamorous blonde ever do the laundry? Open yourself to creative foreplay and experiences for a magical writing experience!