I feel a bit like a shapeshifter lately. Not so much a physical changing creature that twists and cringes and coils into herself as she takes on fur, fangs and whathaveyou. But mentally I’ve been doing some gyrations.
As a writer in more than one genre I possess the ability to ‘shift’ brains, so to speak, depending on what kind of story I’m working on. My Nocturnes see me focused on all things paranormal. Dark, broody men live in my brain while I’m working on those stories. The heroines are smart, tough and eager to explore the paranormal. Information about vampires, werewolves, familiars, faeries, moon phases, bites and blood loss and the pros and cons of immortality fill my thoughts.
The way I work, I don’t start a story and work through to the end until I have a finished product. I usually have two or even three projects going at one time. I’ll draft a story out, then set it aside and pick up another, which may be in draft stage or edit stage or that very necessary stage: the desuckification process. (Hey, what can I say? They can always use a little desuckifying.)
Anyway, sometimes I’ll set aside the paranormal story and pick up something else. I also write action/adventure for the Rogue Angel series from Gold Eagle. No vampires in those stories. I’ve got to shift my brain over to archaeology and the quest for mythological treasures and villains wielding AK-47s and okay, so the heroine does have a magical sword that appears in hand whenever she needs it. But it’s far from paranormal.
I also write historicals, which are about as far from paranormal and action/adventure as you can get. And yet, I add elements of each into those historical stories.
There are days the current work in progress just doesn’t want to work with me. I can’t see my way to the end of a chapter, can’t figure what the heck I was thinking when I put that hero in the story, or even just ‘what do they want?’. So I pick up something else to work on. I make the shift! It helps me tremendously to put aside a work that’s driving me nuts and put my thoughts to something different. Completely different. A shapeshift of the brain, if you will.
So if you’re a writer, do you practice brain/thought/story shapeshifting? And if you’re a reader, you might shapeshift too. Ever read a whole string of paranormal stories then feel the urge for a mystery or chick lit? How do your reading habits shapeshift?
Speaking of Rogue Angels…. I just got copies of SWORDSMAN’S LEGACY, a story I wrote under the pseudonym Alex Archer for the bimonthly series (a new story every two months). I’d love to send out a copy to one lucky commenter! I’ll post a winner’s name on Tuesday.