But not in a bad way
I can be highly obsessive. I can get so sucked into a story—my own or someone else’s. I can be consumed by that world.
And then I need a break.
This is especially true of stories that have a very strong voice—for me, especially in first person. For example, I love Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girls novels (though right now I’m digging Heist Society more, but that’s probably because I’ve read it more recently). I love Melanie Jacobson’s novels. Both of these authors use a strong voice in first person, and it’s great and I love it.
But I only love so much of it at a time. I cannot read more than one book in a row.
Similarly, in my own writing, I’ve gotten to the point where I have to take a break from my own stories and my own voice. Once upon a time, I did write three novels in a series in a row (and within a year).
Now? I can’t—and I don’t think I should—write two stories from the same POV in a row. In fact, I don’t know if I can continue to write the in the same person/tense. Five of my last six works (a broken drawer novel, I, Spy, a NaNo novel that I won’t even get to edit for like a year, Mr. Nice Spy, and the sequel to I, Spy) have all been first person present tense. I never thought I’d write first person or present tense, but I’ve come to love it.
And I’ve also come to need a break. So I’m up for something different. Third person past, my old friend? A mix of first and third? Novella, serial, novel? Maybe something a bit more literary, or a different genre? I don’t know.
But I do know this: I’m compelled to grow constantly, to change constantly. Even in other creative hobbies, like knitting, I don’t like to undertake a project unless I either love the finished result or will learn a new technique (preferably both). I love to challenge myself—and I’m ready for a new and different challenge.
Then, once I’ve accomplished something different and new, once I’ve pushed myself in a new way, once I’ve branched out, then I’m refreshed and ready to go back to another series with new energy.
What do you think? Do you live to challenge yourself in your writing? If so, how? Genre hopping? Story elements? Character? Voice? Person/tense?
Photo by Tribesports