Stay or Stray
There comes a point in a writer's journey when they must decide whether to compromise their vision or not- to stay with what they believe in or stray and give in to what is demanded out of them.
It's not an easy decision to make because for a writer they not only want to be appreciated for their work but also be published and have their books be purchased.
A couple of years ago, when I started on my journey to become a writer, I was drawn to young adult stories. I had an idea that was different from the books popular then. I held off writing that particular story because it was risky and I didn't want to fail at my first attempt to write a whole manuscript.
I surveyed various bookstores and went through the trends and the popular young adult books.
Literally every book that I picked was on vampires. I selected various books from different shelves and red the blurbs: she closed her eyes as he leaned forward to kiss her. The next thing she felt was his teeth pricking the skin of her neck.
I'm paraphrasing the above lines but I was annoyed that the only books being sold for young adults were about vampires. In fact I was asked several times if I was thinking about writing a story on those creatures.
Here's my answer: I won't write a whole novel on vampires. Why? Because they are overdone. The myths on vampires have been distorted and manipulated in many stories. I'm not saying I didn't like a single Twilight book/movie or can't stand watching an episode of Vampire Diaries. In fact I am a huge fan of Vampire Diaries but I still won't work on a vampire story because pretty much every aspect on vampires has been explored in the aforementioned titles.
I always did want to write something different, something that would challenge and inspire me. 'Repeated Lives' was a risk for me, but I could not, not write it. The story was aching to be born so I wrote it and fortunately for me, it was accepted for publication.
Then there is another story I'm currently working on. This story deals with a few disturbing elements and would be excruciating to write. Currently, I'm working on parts of the story that introduces the character and conflicts. But how these conflicts have been created and how they will be solved- that is going to be some real hard work.
The story at the moment focuses on mild elements and I could continue the flow in this way and tone down the disturbing parts.
However without showing the intensity of them, my character loses all credibility and will lack from a clear motive.
It is a hard decision and like many writers, I could wrap up the disturbing parts in complex layers of story and deviate the reader's attention away from them.
On the other hand, I get to grow as a writer by writing something difficult and challenging.
A hard decision to make and fortunately I have some time before I make a decision and take the story to a whole new level.