Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I think I found my voice

Quick recap to catch you up:
Last year, about this time, I began a pirate historical. I shot out of the gate like a racehorse, galloped along until, about 6000 words in, I stalled.
Never having done a historical, AND being as anal as I am, I got all caught up in details, spent hours upon hours of researching bits about time periods, pirates, etc until writing wasn't fun anymore.

I happily 'postponed' it to start a new story - a dark paranormal! Galloped out of the gate, got over 25,000 words in and stalled. The horse up and died.
It just wasn't fun anymore...
My writing sessions turned into web-surfing marathons, blog hopping, chatting, solitaire, etc.
Again, I've never done a paranormal and couldn't decide how to build my world, how to make things work, how to NOT overcomplicate. It distracted me until I lost sight of the story.

In mid-September my editor at EC, the uber-awesome Kelli, sent out an appeal for submissions to next years Jewel of the Nile series. I read it and dismissed it. Oddly, I didn't delete it. Normally I would have. I HATE a messy IN BOX.
A week later I opened back up and thought, what the hell - Let's see if I can pop out a Quickie length.

Fastforward to present:
I'm absolutely delighted to announce that writing this story has been the most fun I've had since Destiny by Design. It's been flowing out my brain, I'm connected to my characters (I wasn't with the last two book attempts) and I'm having a blast.
Once I got started I couldn't stop. It's not been submitted or sold yet, but for the first time in a LONG time, I'm reading it back and thinking - Yes. This is good.

What have I learned?
I think light contemporaries are my forte.
I may eventually go back to the others, but I think I have to learn more about my craft. Learn how to use my contemporary voice in a historical or paranormal, not try an entirely different voice (I just don't have the dark tormented thing down).

As a newbie, I don't kid myself into thinking that I'm poised on the brink of creating the next best seller, but if I ever want to get there, someday, I've got to take babysteps, learn, listen, practice. And what better way than by having fun with a sub-genre I enjoy.

I found my voice!

Informal poll: How do you go from a dark voice to light, a spooky paranormal to a sexy romp? Have you even tried or plan on stepping outside your comfort zone?
Please share your experience!!


Anonymous said...

Ha! I've been all over the map, and I'm still traveling: my trunk novel is a political thriller, Mirror Blue is women's fiction, Thy Eternal Summer is romance, Occam's Razors is mainstream, and House on Bear Branch is a dark and angsty ghost story... and I've enjoyed writing them all, though I must say different facets of me have enjoyed each in different ways. Just call me Sybil! LOL! ;-D

Congratulations on finding your voice! The bottom line is that no matter what kind of story you're writing, connecting with it is oh-so-important, or the story loses its magic and becomes a chore. Best of luck with your story -- it sounds intriguing, and I can't wait to read it!

Tempest Knight said...

Good question, chica. Honestly, I don't know. I've not found the answer yet. I'm still struggling with it. I can do dark very well. However, when I try to do lighthearted stories, I just fail miserably. I was hoping to do a paranormal erotic comedy freebie for Romance Divas' Halloween Challenge this year, but every time I started somehow the conflict would get all dark and heavy. So my Muses and I are having huge arguments were to take the story. They insist I keep doing dark paranormals like "Unforgiven Pleasure," and I want to force them into paranormal comedies. *sighs*

Red Garnier said...

Bravo, bravo, bravo Ms. Kinson! You make a girl proud, Wylie. Very, very proud!

And hmm...well, I, em, er. I don't know what to say. So far I consider the books I've written fit in 2 categories; the lighthearted and funny, and the emotionally tense...I think I like both styles, and both styles reflect Red Garnier in some way, but of course I'm sure readers have their favorites? I might poll them, lol. ;) GREAT BREAKTHROUGH, WYLIE!!

Christine d'Abo said...

This is awesome!! I'm still trying to find my voice in a way. I love to add humor to my books, but I think I work better with dark. As long as it isn't historical, I seem to be okay. I just don't have a historical voice. At least, I don't think I do.

I can't wait to read this!

Leah Braemel said...

Historicals and paranormals don't have to be dark & tormented, they can be light too. But I totally understand about you not moving forward because you haven't connected with your characters - that's essential! And don't give up on your Pirate novel! What I saw of it was fantastic!

Wylie Kinson said...

TL - while I completely agree with the classifications of MB, OC and TES, they all have very strong romantic elements in a contemporary setting. You did all three beautifully!!!
I'm eager to read HoBB :)

Tempest - you do dark SO WELL! But I'd love to see what you can do with 'paranormal light'!

Leah - I concur. They don't HAVE to be dark, but I really wanted mine to be :(

Amy Ruttan said...

Congrats my sweet! I am so happy for you.

I don't have a chick lit voice. I don't think I could do light. Give me dark, sexy and mysterious.

Can't do a Sci Fi either. I've tried on a Hunters for Hire so many times but it keeps stalling.

Congrats on the Jewel of the Nile I am anxiously awaiting the next Wylie Kinson. HOORAY!!!

Bonnie said...

You. Go. Girl! Finding your voice can be excruciating -- especially if you don't trust it for, like, 20 years or so. ;)

For years I thought that "real" writing needed to be all serious and uber-meaningful -- despite the fact that I was soaking up every romance novel I could get my hands on.

Now I realize that trying to emulate something that doesn't come naturally is about as appealing as a full body wax.

So run away from the wax Wylie, and embrace your voice.

Sparky Duck said...

yea my comfort zone is blogging, but I look forward to reading your experimental adventures too