Writing Outside My Comfort Zone

Ravennas Monday MumblingsWelcome to Ravenna’s Monday Mumblings! 

Today I’d like to talk about my writing comfort zone. When I wrote for a different publisher under another pen name, I wrote mostly for one of their imprints that is reserved for their exclusive authors. Nothing wrong with that. I’m grateful I had the experience. But there are quite a few rigid guidelines for this imprint, and after a while I felt like I was on a treadmill. I was writing the same book, with the same types of heroes and heroines, and I have to say I didn’t like it.

There are two sides to this argument. Some readers prefer that. They want to read the same book, over and over again. Personally, I don’t understand it, but it’s an individual preference. However, as a writer, it’s against my nature to write that way.

bored kittenWhat skill or fun is there to rubber stamping a story? Change the names and a few details, and you’re done! No thank you. Not for me. I like different. Different is good. The same old, same old, predictable story line and cardboard characters are BORING.

But writing that way for over two years, and banging out two books a month during that time, took its toll on my writing habits. It’s taken me this long to be able to step outside those confines and really let my muse and my imagination take over. Even while writing The Weathermen, the later books started to feel the same to me. Not sure they came across that way to readers, but I won’t let that happen again, even with a long series.

Unyielding-evernightpublishing-JayAheer2016-3DrenderOne of the reasons I wanted to try my hand at dark romance was to break that mold. UNYIELDING, my first foray into dark romance, releases on Wednesday, June 22nd. I’ll leave it to you, my readers, to let me know how I did.

The book I’m waiting to hear on – THE ALPHA’S TABOO MATE – is my second attempt at writing shifters. This time, I sought advice from two people whom I believe write the best damn shifter stories out there – our own Doris O’Connor, and Jenika Snow. I took their advice and kept it front and center as I wrote that book, but I put a slightly dark spin on it, too! I hope Evernight takes it, and I hope my readers like it!

My current WIP is the second book in the Tortured Love series, and it’s about two ex-cons who are blackmailing each other over a recent jewelry heist. Yeah. I’m having a blast with it, and I hope to have this one submitted to Evernight in early July.

vampire_diaries___damon_elena_by_nastylittlethought-d37gwqc-the-dark-romance-of-the-vampire-diaries-shines-through-in-this-incredible-fan-a-jpeg-213373One of the best things about being a writer of erotic romances is the opportunity with each and every book to explore both the darkness of human nature, and the seductiveness. I love to craft different ways to bring two people together because let’s face it – there are only so many ways to write a sex scene. But if you couch that scene in unusual scenarios or circumstances, and if you also toss in something unique to those characters and them alone, you’ve just created a memorable and different experience for the reader than they will receive in hundreds of other books that are too similar to each other.

freedom road signI’m enjoying my newfound writing freedom. It’s liberating to let my muse go wild and see where her latest “what if?” takes us. And I thank Evernight Publishing for having the guts and the vision to allow us as writers to explore new worlds for our stories, and for not insisting all our heroes be perfect and noble, or all our heroines be too stupid to live and inexperienced virgins.

Ask yourself this: Where would YOUR muse take you if you tossed off the constraints and simply WROTE? You might be pleasantly surprised by the answer. 

Until next week, happy writing! 

10 thoughts on “Writing Outside My Comfort Zone

  1. Great post and you are so right. As writers we have to let our muses talk to us and allow them to write the stories or we will fall into that rubber-stamp creation that you mentioned. Thank you for that reminder, that as writers we are in control of our stories. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Awesome post! As a reader, I can’t tell you how aggravating it is to read a series where every character is the same. Same height, mannerisms, heck, sometimes even the same words! And even worse, when they all get pregnant at the end of every book. (My biggest pet peeve) So, as a new book writer, I will try very hard to make all of my characters unique. Thanks Ravenna! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes! This! Bravo, Ravenna! Fabulous post. Thankfully, my muse has always been far too unpredictable to settle for one genre, series, or story format. I’d bore myself silly if I wrote the same things all the time, lol. I’m pretty sure my readers would roll their eyes too. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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