I’ve been having an all around good time writing over the past few days and nothing too crazy has happened. Dreamstate II has been chugging along, more or less meeting its minimum word count every day. There’s not too much more to add on that front except ‘yay’ and it’s doing what I want it to do.
The book for the 3 Day Novel Contest is also coming along quite nicely. By book I mean the outline and massive pile of thoughts and ideas that I’m dumping into a notebook. I’ve obviously not written anything real, as that would be cheating—and rude. The story is coming along in a way that I did not really expect, but am rather proud of. I like when I surprise myself; it’s rare that I have a moment where I think something that I’ve made up is actually cool—but it happened today, and that’s fun.
One thing that I have noticed, though, while working on both projects side by side, is the crossover that starts to happen between the characters. For the most part, most of the crossover is Daniel from the Dreamstate series being superimposed onto the character in my 3 Day Novel book. I do it without thinking a lot of the time, where I’m trying to figure out how they might react to a scene (this is how I determine if an idea is worthwhile or not) but the wrong character comes out. It’s a bit distracting, and I keep having to take a step back and separate the two boys and really figure out who is who and why. There can be some crossover, but I don’t want to write another book only to realize at the end (of three days of madness) that I’ve just written a Dreamstate spin-off.
The same thing applies for the world in the new book. I really have to make sure that I’m not introducing elements that either I’ve already put into the earlier Dreamstates, or that I intend to place into a later book. Most of the stuff I’ve come up wouldn’t cross over all that well—but once or twice I’ve strayed a little too close to something Dreamstate-ish. I’m sure it’s like with the characters, where I’ve just become so accustomed to how they operate that I default to that mode. I want to avoid this for the obvious reasons of not writing the same book twice, but also because I don’t want my work to get boring. I don’t want to write the same type of story over and over. I like a bit of diversity in my reading, and would also like my writing to be a bit more diverse than that.
This isn’t to say that I’m purposefully attempting to distance myself from whatever clumsy self-created writing style that I’ve managed to cobble together over the past few years. I don’t want to lose my personal voice, but at the same time I don’t want to pigeonhole myself as being a person who only writes X or Y. I feel like not only would that get boring for the readers, but I would get bored writing the same way for the next… forever.