Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Need a challenge?

Sometimes I need a little kick in the butt with my writing. As many of you know, I began with historicals many years ago but then switched to writing western contemporaries. But after awhile I started to feel a little stale. Stuck in a rut. Then a writer friend challenged me to do something different.

It was then that I wrote Feral Moon, my first paranormal and my first menage. What began as a simple exercise to get me out of a rut turned into something I could really build on and now I have several paranormals under my belt. By stepping out of my comfort zone, I opened myself to a whole new world. Thing is, everything can begin to feel a little stale after awhile and that's when I think writers block sets in.

I know the common theory is that writers should stick with one genre because readers get upset when they buy a particular author and find they've picked up a straight contemporary when they were expecting a paranormal. As a writer though, I don't know whether I really WANT to be stuck in the one-genre box, ya know? It's troubling but then who wants to read the same formulaic plot in every single book? I think that can easily happen to a writer when she only writes one genre.

Right now I love writing paranormals but yes, once again I'm feeling a little stale. At the moment, I'm working on developing a new series with two other writers. I've already done a holidy series (Mistletoe Magic/Ellora's Cave) with these talented authors and we honestly had so much fun working together that we thought we'd do it again. So Cindy Spencer Pape, Desiree Holt and I are planning another Texas themed contemporary series. One of the stories is already written.

What is really cool is that we've found we like working together. Our writing styles are similar and it's a challenge to work out details that will be shared in each story. In a way, this is the perfect thing to give a writer a chance to do something a little different. To step out of the box. Just another way to stay fresh as a writer. I like that.

15 comments:

Anny Cook said...

And look how well Feral Moon turned out! Go for it!

Kelley Nyrae said...

I think that really helps. I'm writing my frist YA right now and really welcoming the change of pace. It shakes things up a bit. When I'm done and go back to my romance I know I'll feel fresher.

Liane Gentry Skye said...

I think stepping out of the box is an amazing way to grow in new directions. I also think readers identify with an author's voice before they do certain genre.

So far, my stories are paranormal in some way, but I gravitate between light and dark stories. Hopefully my readers don't mind too much!

Amber Skyze said...

I agree, I can't stick to one genre. Everything feels too cardboard after awhile.

And yes, Cindy and Desiree are such talented authors. I'm sure whatever you ladies produce will be fabulous!

Paris said...

I agree with Lianne, I think readers identify with an author's voice rather than a genre. Stepping out of the box is what led to my first contract with EC. I was stuck on the erotic paranormal I was writing, and wrote a contemporary OW/YM story that was eventually published. I think shaking things up is definitely beneficial!

Ava Rose Johnson said...

I'm completely with you on this. If I had to stick with one genre, I'd definitely lose my spark for writing. At the moment I'm hopping between contemporary mm, western mf and a shapeshifter menage. It keeps me excited!

Anita Birt said...

I have tiptoed out of my box to write a 10,000 word Gothic as a group project. Gothic? Never tried it before. My hero, unfortunately, isn't your usual gothic type so I have to do something with him.

However, I am comfortable in my box because I write different genres - not erotica, that's not my thing. Wish it were. Erotica is selling I do believe.

Regina Carlysle said...

Yep. You encouraged me on that, Anny. Thanks for that.Turned out pretty good and kicked off a whole new genre for me.

Regina Carlysle said...

That's right, Kell. You'll be amazed at how good you'll feel about it.

Regina Carlysle said...

Me too, Lianne. Hopefully the readers will forgive out little forays into new stuff.

Regina Carlysle said...

I looooved writing the first series with Cindy and Desiree and it was just FUN. Sometimes it feels like the writing isn't fun if you are continually writing the same thing. Right now, I am doing a paranormal menage and then will do the contemporary series thing.

Fran Lee Romance said...

Don't you dare stop inventing! I stepped out of the box with Hallie's Cats, and it was because you encouraged me with your fabulous offerings!

Regina Carlysle said...

Really, Fran? I didn't know that. That's out this month isn't it? Damn the cover is hot, too. I can't wait to read it. You'll have to come over to 3WW and give us a peek!

Mia Watts said...

The combined work will be a hit, I'm sure of it.

Anne Rainey said...

The new series sound good, Regina. I tend to stick to contemporaries, but with my current WIP I'm edging towards romantic suspense. So, it's a nice change of pace for me. And challenging!