Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Stepping Over the Line?

I was excited a few weeks ago when a member of my writers group suggested my proposed victim in Watered Silk be a middle-aged woman rather than a young one.  I started re-writing the synopsis and discovered all kinds of interesting changes in the story’s arc – including the perpetrator.  But when I wrote about it to my editor, she was very doubtful, not at all sure she liked the storyline.  And now my agent has chimed in, saying very much the same thing.  This series is light and cozy, they say, and the elements to be introduced in the new story line are harsh and dark.

After some reflection, I have to agree with them.  So now it’s back to the original story line, much of which I discarded in my excitement over the new one, so it has to be recreated.

I’m not griping about the work involved, but am knocking myself for not being more cognizant of the arena I’m working in.  “Light and cozy” sounds fuzzy, but it has definite boundaries.  If I want to write darker and harsher, I’m going to have to invent a new character and maybe a new pseudonym.  On the other hand, I’m not at all fond of reading dark and violent thrillers.

How about you?  Do you sometimes get an impulse to write – or read – something outside your usual sphere of comfort?  Is it a good idea, or a bad one?


Dee W said...

I understand their thoughts, but a deviation in the "formula" can be very refreshing. I love Betsy and everyone needs to stretch their experiences. I don't intentionally read ones that are dark, but if one with a premise I think I'll enjoy comes along, yes, I'll read it.

Linda O. Johnston said...

I often come up with ideas outside my writing areas, Monica. It's always fun to push the boundaries. So far, my usual genres have worked best for me--although I've several usual genres!

Betty Hechtman said...

I prefer to write light amd cozy since I have my mind filled with my book as I'm writing. Once, a long time ago, I was telling myself a creepy story as I was sewing. It had a what is real or what is imagined kind of ending and it was so upsetting I couldn't get it out of my mind.