You should never fear being creative. There are challenges to it. It confuses the crap out of your readers for one thing. When they finish reading one book, they’re notorious for wanting to pick up something similar to curb that “Good Book Hangover.”
One of the things that helps when you find yourself eccentrically creative is to be consistent.
Keep all your information straight.
This should be a no-brainer. Really. When you’re doing anything, you should keep all your facts straight. But let’s face it, when you’re writing a story, there’s a LOT of stuff to keep straight, and that’s if you don’t change anything major!
When you’re writing something creative, you’re usually building a new world. Not always, but a lot of the time. Some readers–and by some, I mean a lot of them–have a really hard time surviving outside of their buckets, their comfort zones. So, being consistent is imperative.
This includes how you describe unique elements in your world.
Take Dream Killers for example. We teleport via Place and sometimes we use the other person’s Who as our destination point. Not always, though because not everyone can follow a Who, and a Who can only be traced if it’s been collected.
My error was in defining Place and Who in different ways before the initial definition took roots. I failed to make a consistent foundation before branching out.
Some people got it. Some people really, really got it and loved it. But out of 25 reviews that were originally promised, I received 7. I was IM’d 5 times by people telling me that they were confused even though it was well-written. The world building elements and the “lingo” were too confusing. And I had 3 people IM me to let me know that it was “beautifully written, but too unique.”
I can’t ignore those numbers. Something went wrong, and I think it was the fact that I didn’t sit down and define my lingo at the get-go well enough for them to feel I was consistent with it, even though I was.
Keep your launches coming and timely.
I gotta say. This is one thing I struggle with. I’ve started my own publishing company. I have a business plan. I need to update it with a few changes I’ve made at the end of the year, but
I’m taking this serious.
The thing I can’t allow myself to forget is that after a reader finishes my books, especially if they liked them, they’re going to want something similar. I don’t know anyone out there who writes the kinds of stories I do. I’m sure they’re out there. I can’t believe in a world this big that I’m the only one. I’m not. It’s mathematically impossible, I’m sure. But I haven’t found them.
That means I have to provide those books. That means I have to create a schedule and stick to it. I have to plan it into my budget (which is something I have to do anyway with the fact that this is a business, not a hobby). The readers have to be able to count on me, especially since I’m a nobody in the book business. I actually had a review–great review, btw–tell me I was a nobody in the book business. Kinda of a reminder of how small a fish I am in this giant ocean of books. I digress.
If I say I’m going to launch a book in October, I have to do that.
Otherwise, what few readers and fans I have will leave no matter how much they enjoyed my books.
This is probably why several of the big authors that are household names became well-known after they’d had a few books out. This part of the consistency is tough.
So, what are you going to work on?
For me, I have to figure out how build the foundation (without info-dumping, which I loathe) before throwing my readers into the pool.