Upkeeping my blog has been on the backburner for a few weeks now and I apologise to those of you who keep tuning in to find out what I've been up to recently, or to read my take on the writing game. It's not that I haven't anything to say, just that 'real life' has caught up with me and certain tasks that I've put off (for way too long) have demanded attention. For the past fortnight I've been giving the house a long over due make over.
So here's the thing:
Why is it I loathe wielding a paintbrush and roller during household chores when - if I was facing a blank canvas - I'd relish the task of creating a painting? I love painting pictures, and can quite easily lose a few hours slapping colours onto canvas (see the art tab above for some of my creations), though I don't get the opportunity to do so these days. I guess it's the mundaneness of painting a wall that turns me off, the same as I couldn't write a mundane book - althought that's debateable concerning the opinions of some of my detractors ;-)
No, I love the vibrancy and viceral feeling I get from writing high-octane action, the same as I do when daubing paint onto canvas ala Bob Ross style. Painting a wall a uniform colour just doesn't give me the same experience. I suppose that means I'm a colourful writer? I'd agree with that. But is there also uniformity in my writing? I believe there is, and it's important in my opinion that it is there.
Uniformity in my case is that we have ongoing characters and situations - Joe Hunter, Rink, Harvey etc versus some ultra bad guy/guys to overcome. It's kind of expected in a sense, that readers of Joe's adventures know exactly what they are going to get but with a twist. Uniformity in this case is like a pallet of colours: red, yellow, blue, black and white. They are the only colours (or shades if you take the latter two), but they have infinite connotations when mixed. That's what I try to achieve with my writing, that I take the uniform 'colours', mix them all up and see what creations I can form from them. The options are endless, I think, but always in the background there will be the base hues. Therefore, although we feel like we recognise the basic building blocks - the style if you like - there are always new ways of delivering the end product. Usually, in my case, it's the 'happy little accidents' that make all the difference.
I read a review of Vince Flynn's latest book where it was said that the story was treading on old ground. I think this is unavoidable when writing a series following ongoing characters, but, though I haven't read the book yet, I'm pretty sure that Vince has done a great job of delivering something new and fresh as well. We all want to read and learn something new, but we also love the familiarity of a much loved ongoing character. We pick up books in an ongoing series with a certain sense of expectancy after all, and without those base colours that we've come to recognise and absorb they just wouldn't deliver the same.To coin a very overused phrase, we expect that the next book in a series 'does exactly what it says on the tin'.
Pity my 'one coat paint' didn't live up to the same promise.