My mindset with fiction lately seems to be to take a lot more risks and experiment with things - not so much out of my comfort zone as stretching my technical and story-telling ability.
Case in point: for the September fantasy-writers challenge - which is tough enough, the topic being "someone who is guilty and innocent of the same act" - I've added three personal challenges for myself.
I wanted to do a "Vantage Point"-esque story where the same scene is replayed from multiple perspectives, adding details and advancing the story sideways rather than linearly. I wanted to use names that were titles / epithets, because this something that I don't really do and is sort of out of my comfort zone. And ... I decided I wanted each of the five scenes planned to be in a different style. (I'm a bit concerned, actually, because I started with fluid and poetic, and I don't want to lose readers! Scene two is going to drop into more of a light-touch comic style.)
After I got done planning all this, I was worried that my guilt/innocence wasn't pronounced enough, so I decided to add hints of that aspect to every character/scene.
Shortly after last week's entry, I finished "Reclamation" by Sarah Zettel. I bring this up because the novel contains a lot of the elements I was concerned about "getting away with" in science fiction. There's a strong spiritual component and lengthy flavor descriptions. It works; it works beautifully. I still have the concern with Scylla and Charybdis that I'm not maintaining tension as well, but I'm not so gnawy about the fact that there's a lot of world exploration and a sprinkling of near-mysticism.
With my Journal rewrite, I've just reached the beginning of what I think is the longest scene in the book. It's where Rhiane encounters the criminal seeking sanctuary in the Dry Temple and finds out he's the old friend of one of her spirits. There's a lot going on in this scene: the recognition, reconciliation, explanation, some unpleasant new facts and a bargain - to which her bodyguard strenuously objects. It's really too long to be an in-story written scene ... but as it is, I keep dithering over the likelihood of her being able to write the romance entries without her mental inhabitants noticing. There's just some things that have to be gimmes in the journal form.