In a Rut?

Question: Are there certain characteristics that show up in our books?

For me, the quick answer is NO.

I have not written any two stories that are anything alike in the least, be they fictional, based on true stories or non-fiction.

That having been said, I have two amendments to that answer.

One is that many of my stories have basis in reality. Some are downright retellings of actual events, although I have been known to change or leave out details.

One is almost verbatim, except for the ending, and the fact that I left out a few modifying parts of conversations to make the ending, well…different.

Other than that and the next point, the ones that are finished/almost finished have next to nothing in common.

There are a few that I am not sure where they should be categorized. A cousin called them free verse, but they definitely tell a story and those have the same defining characteristic: they each address the story of a woman at some time in her life, referring to her only as “She” and “Her”, but  other than that, they have nothing in common.

They are not based on the same women, nor do they address similar circumstances.

(I won’t bring my poetry into this, since we were discussing “stories”.)

Maybe it is because my writings, so far, have not been consistent in any major category. Not more than one, (so far),  has been a ‘romance’, not more than one has been a ‘thriller’, not more than one has been… goodness, what DO I call that one? There is one children’s story finished, another started, but they are unalike. A few starts I suppose one might call ‘supernatural’, but they are not the same types of stories.

Maybe when all is said and done, we’ll find some trap which I have fallen into, but as of yet, I don’t think so.

It could be said that I haven’t found a niche, either.

About Tonette Joyce

Tonette was a once-fledgling lyricists-bookkeeper, turned cook/baker/restaurateur and is now exploring different writing venues,(with a stage play recently completed). She has had poetry and nonfiction articles published in the last few years. Tonette has been married to her only serious boyfriend for more than thirty years and she is, as one person described her, family-oriented almost to a fault. Never mind how others have described her, she is,(shall we say), a sometime traditionalist of eclectic tastes.She has another blog : "Tonette Joyce:Food,Friends,Family" here at WordPress.She and guests share tips and recipes for easy entertaining and helps people to be ready for almost anything.
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13 Responses to In a Rut?

  1. kathleenbee says:

    I like your broad-mindedness. I wouldn’t say it’s a bad thing that you write so many genres.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jeff Salter says:

    just as visual artists work in many different media, with different styles and subject matter… so to is it quite appropriate for the written artists to do so.
    I remember, as a kid, being shocked when I learned that Picasso — who, to my knowledge had only painted all that “weird” abstract stuff — had (earlier in his career) worked in a very realistic style. Why he left all that to launch into the other is a mystery to me… but then I’m no expert in art.
    My point, however, is that as wordsmiths, we writers can and should develop a variety of means of expression — whether that be the characters, the plots, the setting, or even manuscript lengths.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Very true, Jeff. I have also found that people who are creative in one way are often creative in other ways; so many of the writers I know do needlework or paint, or are creative in the kitchen.
      As for Picasso, well, the abstract stuff SOLD. I have seen his other works and prefer them as well. But like so many artists, it’s what is off-the-wall or unique that gets attention.
      My mother used to claim that Ella Fitzgerald had the best voice of any female singer of the Big-Band time period. I never understood that, because all I ever heard her do was ‘scat’. After years I heard her do some ‘old standards’, and her voice was beautiful. The same with Cab Calloway. All we ever heard was Minnie the Moocher, but I heard a man in a nursing home talking about how good he was singing White Christmas and looked for him on YouTube. Cab had a wonderful voice, but for the general public, he had to “Hi-dee, Hi-dee, Ho” for his supper. Did you see “Jersey Boys”? It took some major arm-twisting to make their record company take a chance on letting Frankie Valle NOT sing falsetto in a song. That song was “You’re Just Too Good To Be True”, their biggest hit which became an ‘evergreen’. The record label sold not only made ‘record’ sales on the Four Seasons, but more sheet music and others covering it than they never anticipated. But they had not wanted Frankie to stop “Sherry Baby”-ing.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Elaine Cantrell says:

    When I wrote Fortuna I put in some incidents that have happened either to me or a member of my family. I got a review on the book that said it was unbelievable. I never said my family was boring.


  4. Patricia Kiyono says:

    Variety is good. And when you’re writing about real events and people, it’s smart to change some of the details.


  5. First of all…let me agree with Jeff on Picasso (and I am an artist) where my very wise fellow-author called the so call artist’s work “weird.” To me, the ultimate irritation over his work came with the structure he called a “sculpture” he made in Chicago in front of the court building. He would never tell anyone what it was, but it sure looked like vulture to me. I believe it was his practical joke on Chicago. End of rant.

    Anyway, back to the topic. I don’t feel that I’ve ever fallen into a “rut” even though I’ve reused characters from one book to another in my stories. I do not write series. Each book stands alone. But when I use characters over again, I make sure that I give them the same attributes they had in other stories, even if their lives change in the new write. My readers have found this interesting and enjoyable. Some even want to read them in the order published. I did that with the James Bond series.

    My genre is Christian Romance Suspense. That’s generally what I stick with for my novels. However, I have written several short stories in various genres (a couple of which are in anthologies with definite themes). And, I’m about to set off on a novella in the Romance genre instead of Romance Suspense.

    Yes, variety is good, but I don’t see anything wrong with having repeat appearances of your characters, as long as you’re careful to keep their descriptions and personalities intact. Plot lines are also an area where they can be repeated. After all, it’s said that there are only a certain number (the number escapes my memory at the moment) of plots that can be written. One simply has to make sure they seem fresh with varying characters, scenes, and minute details.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. That could be a blessing that your stories don’t really have anything in common right now because you’re not in a certain niche you can write in more genres and reach a broader audience.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. J.Q. Rose says:

    I’d say you are on an adventure stretching those creative muscles and exploring your world of writing. And that’s a good thing.


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