Deja Vu All Over Again

Wait, I think I’ve already done a blog post with that title…

I’m finishing up this round of edits on Across the Silk Road and now that I’ve nearly completed three books and a short in this world, I’m getting a bit worried. Little Sis had a couple comments wondering if some elements or scenes in this book were too reminiscent of Butterfly Swords or The Dragon and the Pearl. And then what about vocabulary and echo phrases across the books? I’m worried enough about catching those in one book let alone across several.

Of course there are recurring themes and elements. I love big, sweeping honor plays. Themes of loyalty and redemption and warrior culture are always hanging about. But what about love scenes or milestones that start to have a similar feel? I wonder if this is inevitable.

How do you keep it fresh? Is it really time to write something completely different after these revisions? My paranormal project is also set in a fantasy Tang dynasty. Maybe I need to let that rest and write the contemporary I’ve been ruminating about. I can sneak that in. Really.

It leaves me to also wonder, how much of this is your signature style and voice that readers will embrace and love about your writing? How much of it is you falling into old habits and no longer keeping it fresh? A thin red line indeed.