The quest for something different.

This past week has been frustrating for me, at least in terms of writing.

I’m sort of between projects right now and, of course, that means I’m already dreaming up the next project. It has not proven easy this time around.

I’m obsessed with the idea of creating a new paranormal series. Sounds easy enough, right? I’ve done it before. Several times, in fact. However, that little voice in the back of my head keeps saying, “It has to be different from anything else out there.” After all, how on earth will it stand apart from all the other paranormal romances?

Part of me wants to rely on the tried and true characters, the vampires and werewolves and demons. People still love them but will they snare the attention of agents and editors? Probably not. They all want to see something new, something different. And yet, if readers are to be believed, they want more of the same. They love vampires and werewolves and demons, thank you very much.

So then I put my writing cap on and think, “Write about the characters you love. Just put a fresh spin on them.” Fresh spin. Easier said than done. I have to be honest, folks. I’m not feeling so fresh these days.  For some reason, creating “something different” also creates a lot of stress. And to me, a lot of the fresh spins I see out there are really just more of the same. Same vampire, new city. I want to give my readers a dynamic new reading experience.

I recently finished a horror story, a novella I submitted for a Halloween anthology. That was fun and I’m not opposed to writing more in that genre. However, romance is my passion and I don’t want to alienate my readers. They came to me for HEAs. I love HEAs (that means ‘happily ever after’).  I take happy endings very seriously. The world is miserable enough. I want to provide happiness, even if I can only do it in book form.

I suppose this is just one of the struggles we writers encounter. It’s our jobs to come up with compelling stories, ones that resonate with as many readers as possible … even if they do contain the odd vampire. We have to carve out our own little niches in an oversaturated market. We create and we strive to create something different.

I guess that’s why they pay us the big bucks.

Oh, wait. I was thinking of my kid’s orthodontist just then.  He gets paid the big bucks.

I wonder if, when sticking braces on a teenager’s teeth, the orthodontist ever gets obsessed with the idea of creating something different.

No. That would result in a lot of complaint calls.

It must only apply to writers.

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