Oops...did I write that?
I don't want to wade into the Margaret Wente brouhaha that's popping up in the media these days. Suffice to say that I often enjoy her columns and even bought her book, You Can't Say That in Canada many moons ago. What it does bring to mind, however is the fact that, "there's no such thing as a new plot". Sorry, I'm unable to attribute that but it's definitely not my original thought.
As a writer, that does cause me concern. I read so much, often in the sub-genre I write, so it could happen without my being aware. Oops, I've used someone else's idea, description, location in my story. I do read cosies, even though I know many writers won't read anything similar to what they're writing, mainly for that reason. But I feel I need to stay on top of what my publisher is choosing as new series, in particular. What grabs their attention, and presumably therefore, the support of the reading public.
It's difficult enough keeping a series fresh and moving forward. This information adds some insight into "trends" and possible ways to keep the series alive.
I've been giving a lot of thought to just this aspect of writing -- keeping a series from fading into an untimely ending. I've thought about writing a short story, for some variety in writing styles; trying to do a Rapid Reads; starting a second, totally new series; any or all of the above.
What I do is write a blog a couple of times a week, and mystery reviews. But is it enough? Time will tell.
How do you keep your series fresh? Anything I've mentioned or are you just naturally the type of writer who works with your characters to keep things compelling and at the top of readers' lists?
Linda Wiken/Erika Chase
A KILLER READ
Berkley Prime Crime, now available
READ & BURIED, coming Dec., 2012;
available now for pre-order