Jumping the Shark
“Wait! I know! I’ll write a mirror image story! On this world Ra’d will be a criminal . . . and his sweet little sister will be number one on the shoot-on-sight list! Yes!”
This is how you know you’ve used up all your ideas and need to back off.
Or, that you’ve made the main character of your series so powerful there are no challenges left. I mean, how many times can you save the world and then go off to explore a dinosaur world? Yeah, a couple of each and you find it hard to top it in the next book.
IMO, this is a sign that you need a break from the series. That you need to catch up on your reading, and doodle around with very different things. Maybe even . . . a new genre?
Yep. Another learning experience. It’ll be like vegetables, they’re good for you, and even taste good once you figure out the right spices. It’s the experiments that, umm, get tossed that are the nasty part. I’ve dug quite a rut for myself and I’ve nearly forgotten the basics of crafting an interesting story. So, back to review the notes from Creative Writing 101.
Let’s see . . . The major genres.
Mystery? I read a whole bunch of mysteries, maybe I ought to try one. I’ve had mysteries inside my SF/F, but my amateur sleuth was rather incompetent. I can fix that. I think. It might require outlining for the proper placement of clues. But a bit of imposed order might help all of my work.
Western? However much I loved watching all the old westerns on TV, I haven’t actually read very many. Okay, this is a genre I ought to explore. Horses are familiar territory, after all. Just add cows and bandits or something, right? And avoid slipping into Cowboys vs Aliens. Plot. Must have plot. Must have story problem that matters to the MC. Must have the right equipment for the exact period of the book. I think there were a lot of weaponry development over the usual time frame of Westerns. Indian tribes and relations . . . This is going to take some research.
Christian? Probably a bad idea. Not having attended church as a child I’m “tone deaf” to the details and would probably mess up entirely.
I’ve written YA. Both Science Fiction and Epic Fantasy. Been accused of shoehorning a Girl-and-Horses story into my main SF/F series, so that’s not new ground.
Right. So there’s my plan. Bone up on Mysteries and Westerns. Think up some story problems. Pick a time and place for them to happen.
That’ll keep me out of trouble for awhile.
So, what genres do you write in . . . and which ones would challenge you?