Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Tuesday Muse

The question of the day is:

How do you keep all your stories from sounding the same, while at the same time staying true to your voice, your 'brand', your style?

I'm wrestling with a couple plot lines for a new WIP, and I'm seeing similar themes and threads occuring that have shown up in previous works. I don't want all my books to be the same.

Time to think outside the box (what a cliche) and come up with something different.

Where do you find your plot inspiration? How do you make your stories sound different from each other?


  1. This is SUCH a good question. I've found the same thing, but I'm hoping y'all didn't notice =P But I think that happens to everyone. Or take, for example, CBA as a whole: early widowhood runs rampant in CBA because divorce is almost always a no-no (at least in romance).

    Wish I had a good solution, but I'm still too new to have a method.

  2. Well, Georgiana is right - widowhood runs rampant because of no divorce. That stinks to me because I've been divorced. It would be nice to read how other Christians (even Christian characters) handle divorce. Sorry CBA, divorce happens. Even to Christians. Sorry for the rant. One of my pet peeves.

    Erica, I rely on my character's personality to make the story different--if that makes sense: Is my heroine a Diane Lane type or is she a Britney Spears type? Is hero like Paul Newman or a Chevy Chase? Each of these people are different personalities and would act/react in different ways. So the book will have a different tone/voice. Some of my characters have more 'energy' about them. In one of my books, my heroine was a Jacqueline Smith. I love her--think she's beautiful. She has a quiet voice and personality. Can I say that was the most boring book I've ever written--and it all had to do with her quiet personality. She had no pizazz. I had to totally rewrite. Now she's a Stephanie Zimbalist. LOL This probably doesn't make any sense at all.

  3. Having rewritten the same book over a couple of times - and then gone back and rewritten so the endings were different - I'm not sure I have an answer.

    My personal opinion is that people worry too much about having a certain style or brand. If your story is good -- and I've read a lot of yours to know they are - they I don't think you need to worry about them all being the same "type."

    While I might chose to read a particular author because they write mysteries or historicals and I'm hoping to have a repeat experience of a book I enjoyed, it doesn't bother me if the book doesn't follow the same format as their last book.

    And I can certainly echo Jess's comment about wanting to read other topics of interest to CBA readers that are considered no-no's. You don't read much about Catholics either. :)

    Maybe your books explore the same themes--but as long as you can do it in a creative way your readers will keep coming back for more.

    My take and I still have 7 minutes left on the library pc. :)

  4. That's true, G, about CBA as a whole. Sometimes we are forced to use certain themes because the outside-the-box themes aren't accepted!!!

    Can we just stick with that excuse? hehe.

    I've realized now that two of my last three stories have teetered around a bad relationship between hero and father relationship! Which is strange since that's never been on purpose, its snuck in there during the synopsis plotting stage. Interesting! (and BTW I have a fantastic relationship with my dad so that's not it. lol)

  5. You've been nominated for an award. You need to pop over to the Heap to find out about.