It's our differences that make us special, and that goes to say with writers as well as anyone. When I reached the half way point working on Wicked Temptation, I wondered if I should toss in the towel on this one and call it a day. The story is much darker, and more about patching up the past between two lovers than it was about the hot sex... of which there is plenty. :P It's not so action-y as my other stuff and I had to ask myself if this is what I wanted. When I read it, I hear my voice coming through the words so I know it's me. Only different.
What's that old saying? Variety is the spice of life.
I'm happy with my past work, don't get me wrong, but I didn't want to use old ideas or recycled characters for this story. I wanted to do something fresh and completely different from the other stories I'd worked on in the past.
When I started this book it was like a writer's vacation from writing while, um... still actually writing. Then I started to realize just what I was creating--something different from what I'd anticipated, and in response, I tried to fight it. Wrangle it down. Whip it into a shape that fits the mold of my other stories.
In the end, I just couldn't do it. It wouldn't fit. It's a square peg I'm trying to beat into a round hole. Instead of trying to force things, I had to go with the flow and loosen my grip on plotting. That is not only difficult to do, it is scary. You don't want to let your characters get too far away from you, they'll evolve into something completely other than your original intention--whether for better or worse. At this point, I can't afford the evolving character. I'm on a deadline.
So it looks like I'm exploring my own brand of uncharted territory. Stretching my wings. I'll just have to worry about the consequences later. First and foremost, the point is to tell a good story, and not worry about the rest. After all, if we don't break our own mold, how will we ever grow?