I've had to pause my main WIPs because they were just too dramatic. I didn't realize this was why until I gave myself the chance to "free write".
I pantsed a WIP and I liked it!
In fact, I was really enjoying the story. I wanted to know more about it as I wrote. I wanted to see what these characters would do.
Furthermore, my hero, truly took shape in my head. I hadn't realized how formulaic my characters were, until I met- wait for it........ - Val Draig! I had no idea who this man was. In fact, I knew as much about him as my heroine, Ace Stanning. She and I were both wondering who the hell this hottie in our store was. Then he started to tell me. I looked at names for him and he kept saying "Seriously? You think that is my name?" and then rolling his eyes at me. Until I finally landed on "Draig" to which he responded, "Finally!" Then as stroke of luck happened and my friend Jodie (who's stories I love!) happened to mention that the name I was using for him, made her think of "Val". My hero konked me on the back of the head and said: "She gets it, why don't you?"
And Val Draig "became".
The story is slapstick. I'm 3k into it and the antics of Val and Ace are hysterical. I mean, seriously: they are really funny together. Ace is funny by herself, but he really brings the humor out in her.
As I wrote, I realized something....
I was actually "writing" a story! It wasn't two characters that I envisioned so much as two characters who already were; people I was getting to know as I wrote. I found that I really liked them!
While I still have no idea where their story is going (they haven't told me that much, yet), I'm really enjoying it as I go! It's almost as if I'm honestly reading someone else's book as I write. I'm liking it!!
Furthermore, I realized that I truly do have a niche. I may not excel at it, but I like it.
I write humor.
It's true. I love to write funny things. I love to write sarcastic comments, witty retorts, slapstick physical bungles, and comedic scenarios. They motivate me. They're a part of me.
Don't get me wrong, I do drama, but I've come to the realization that my best writing is done when I'm writing primarily humor. It's natural. I don't worry about the next scene so much because I'm enjoying the current scene. I'm not fighting to complete things, I'm just going with the flow.
Then another thought came to me:
The reading audience.
It occurred to me that I don't often find successful authors in Romance who write humor. There are a few, to be sure! Julia Quinn writes really funny Regency Romance. Katie MacAlister and Jeaniene Frost write really funny UF.
There are a few others, but these ladies really focus on the humorous side of things. That's three. How many really successful comedic Romance authors are out there?
In relation to the total amount of successful Romance authors? Not many. In fact, it's a very small fraction.
The majority of successful Romance authors will add comedy, but the focus is much more dramatic. There is a much higher success rate for dramatic Romance than there is for comedic Romance.
Am I shooting my writing career in the foot with my decision, I wonder?
I don't particularly care.
It's important to consider your audience when you write. I realize this. Most writers do, as well.
The key, however, isn't considering everyone to be your audience! It's considering who your audience is.
My audience is now the same folks who read Julia Quinn, Katie MacAlister, and Jeaniene Frost. So when I consider my audience, I'll be considering the people who enjoy what I enjoy.
There's something really uplifting about that. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that there's a freedom in acknowledging that I won't appeal to everyone. I may only appeal to a few people. Those people, however, will really like what I have to offer.
My audience and I will enjoy the books and that fact is more important than knowing that millions of people sort of like my book. I'd rather have a few hundred people absolutely love my books as I do, than a million people who have tepid feelings about it.
So I've come to understand a new Pearl o' Wisdom: