Hey there, Casey here.
Change is hard. Even when you want to change, it’s still a challenge to teach your mind that what you’re doing is okay. That it will all work out. That you shouldn’t panic!
Last summer, I wrote a contemporary romance called Over Easy. I did it because I wanted to grow my writing skills and to try something new and challenging.
All of my books have been paranormal romances. And while I love the genre (and I don’t intend to leave it all together), I need to stretch myself once in a while. So I had this idea about a woman and a struggling diner in a small town in Vermont.
The idea percolated in my brain while I wrote Mystic Hero and Lachlan’s Curse (which I recently sold – yay me!). I knew going in that it would be hard to switch from one genre to another. Sure, they are both romances, and in theory, the heart is still a love story. . . but. . .
. . . But here’s the thing. They aren’t the same. With contemporary romance, I wouldn’t have magic, evil villains or explosions to rely upon to get my hero/heroine in and out of jams.
I’d have to rely on good, old fashioned emotions. Every day problems. Accessible issues. Hearts and flowers.
Those were kind of scary to me. In real life, I don’t like drama. I hate confrontations. And I don’t like overly emotional situations. Heck, I’m not sure I’m even that romantic.
Well, personal fears aside, I wrote the book.
It came out too short. And while it was okay and my beta readers liked it (it even placed in a contest), I knew it wasn’t as good as it could be. So I did what most writers do in that situation.
I let it sit. And sit. And sit some more. Then panic and doubt set in, until it morphed into THE. WORST.BOOK.EVER.
That’s when I knew it was time to ask for help. I’m lucky that my RWA chapter has a mentoring program. And I’m even luckier that my mentor is well-versed in the genre.
After a frank assessment of my work, I have new path to follow. I’m learning how to be less plotty (yes, that’s a thing) and be more real. AND to face all those emotions that scare me. Yup. I’m digging deep. It’s uncomfortable, but I’ll live.
In order to write the best book I can – to hatch a beautiful butterfly – I need to return to the cocoon and start again.
See? Maybe there are some hearts and flowers in me after all.
Has anyone else faced the same problem? How did you deal with it?