Good stories consist of many different elements. Action, dialogue, inner and outer conflict, drama, horror, and of course, romance, just to name a few. The presence of these elements can be amped up or dialed back, like balancing the channels on a mixer to create music. I keep romance at the center of every story, the melody around which the other elements play.
Lately, I find that the horror channel has been creeping up on my story mixer. And I do mean creeping. I’ve been trying to keep my work lighter for a long time, but the ideas that are coalescing in my mind are too compelling to ignore. A particular world is unfolding for me, with all its darkness and terrible beauty. The stories in this world have been percolating in my brain for a few years now, and the ripe fruit falling from that tree is impossible to look away from.
My challenge now is to keep the romance at the center, to remember that my purpose is to entertain and uplift, even if I might give some readers a scary shiver or two along the way. That horror channel can never become louder than the love that is building throughout each story, even if it will be louder and more involved in the completion of pieces in this world than in others.
My muse is leading me into this place for a reason. It takes trust and faith to follow, but from what she’s already shown me, it will be a worthwhile and fascinating journey.
What elements take center stage in your writing and which are your supporting players?