For a multi-genre author, one roadblock that might be encountered when moving from writing one book to another is tone.
Obviously, an LGBTQ+ Young Adult will have a different tone than an LGBTQ+ New Adult book. LGBTQ+ Paranormal Romance will be different than both of them. Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Lit Fic…they all have a certain tone–or mood–that is unique and sets them apart from other the other genres. Even within a specific genre, one story may be lighthearted, while another has a more serious tone.
Writing one genre repeatedly is a bit easier than hopping around from one to the other. The way I write, well, I generally hop around a bit.
I’m the type of crazy ass writer who needs to write the story that’s stuck in my head right now.
It doesn’t matter what I just got finished writing, the new thing my mind is stuck on must be chased with a passion. With as many projects as I have in various stages of development, that means the hopping around is even crazier.
Recently, I’ve been entrenched in writing the sequel to BETWEEN ENZO & THE UNIVERSE (titled: THE WARMTH OF OUR CLOSEST STAR) while doing deep-edits on other books of different genres that will be released between now and 2022.
My writing life is strange and chaotic, to say the least. But I love it.
So, how do I skip around from one project to the next and slide into the tone of each story?
I’d be lying if I said it was easy.
Recently, I’ve been working on the finishing touches of a book that has a very joyful, celebratory tone. The last few things I’ve released (BETWEEN ENZO & THE UNIVERSE, JACOB MICHAELS IS DEAD, and A MILLION LITTLE SOULS had much heavier tones.
Switching to something that has a happier, more lighthearted tone has been wonderful…but difficult. I’ve had to shake off the gloomy feelings that had invaded my brain from the previous books.
Unfortunately, an artist lives their art, right?
So, how does a writer immerse themselves in the tone (or mood) of a story, when their brain is still swimming with the characters and themes from a previous story that was completely different?
Well, I consume art that isn’t my own.
If I need to pull myself out of a dreary mood, I watch a movie or read a book that is joyful. The opposite holds true if I’m moving from something lighthearted to something heavier.
One of my favorite ways to move from heavy to lighthearted is to watch Rom-Coms (especially LGBTQ+). Movies like But I’m A Cheerleader, Love! Valour! Compassion!, The Birdcage, Love Simon, To Wong Foo Thanks For Everything Julie Newmar, or Pride. Sometimes I’ll watch a musical I love, like Singin’ In The Rain. Anything that makes me happy. Not for nothing, but my recent acquisition of a Disney+ subscription also helps in this area.
Moving from lighthearted to a more serious tone is the same, but opposite. I’ll read or watch something in the genre I am moving towards. Maybe I’ll watch a more serious LGBTQ+ movie (like Mysterious Skin), or I’ll watch something with vampires and werewolves (think Twilight).
Having a friend make a playlist of music that matches the tone of what I’m about to write also helps. The right “soundtrack” can help get me into a head space that is beneficial to my writing sessions.
Regardless, I find that art created by other people–whether it be music, print, or film–really helps me with the creation of my own art. You can’t steal ideas, but you can certainly steal a mood.
Tremendous Love & Thanks,