And then a policeman named Jack invited himself into the story, and proceeded to turn my light fluffy comedy into a coming-of-age story for my persnickety, semi-spineless young protagonist.
At first, I wasn't so sure about the unexpected intrusion upon the mood I was aiming for.
What if the slight adjustment in tone made it less funny, thus defeating the purpose of those parts of the book?
I didn't want this new development to turn into a plot tumor that lowered the overall quality of the novel.
And yet, at the same time, part of me welcomed this unexpected twist, due to an equally unforeseen complication in the process of writing Catgirl Roommate.
I yearned to write other moods, so much that I ended up writing a Farscape fanfiction and plotting out large segments of another book on some days when I should have been writing Catgirl Roommate.
But on the upside, they greased the wheels of my imagination, making the process of writing Catgirl Roommate easier and more enjoyable. They also laid the foundation for a really good novel, whose skeleton I've started to flesh out as inspiration struck.
All in all, my need to add variety to my writing palette proved to be a blessing in disguise. As I've noted in the past, it's not a good idea to let a good idea stagnate in your mind until it's "time to write it".
If you have a great scene in your head, you get that thing written down, pronto. I learned that one the hard way.
I have to admit, I didn't see it coming.
The last thing I'd expected was for a character I'd never planned to write to get me back on track by creating a track I'd never planned to travel.
But when he strolled into the story, bringing years of wisdom and a new sense of humor along with him, I soon realized it was best to just let him do his thing.
So I let him interact with Sam, weaving some amusing shenanigans on Nyla's part into their encounters to keep the laughs coming.
And as it turned out, instead of derailing my carefully guarded humorous story, this extra layer of character development breathed new life into it.
If you've got ideas in your head that you're waiting to write down, because you're trying to focus exclusively on a story that's starting to lose your interest, don't be afraid to take a break.
Get those ideas on paper or screen, before they go stale in your head.
Get the distractions out of your system.
Maybe even write something low-stakes, like a fanfiction, just to grease your mental wheels and let your imagination fly with no limits or expectations weighing down its wings.
And then, once you've mentally stepped outside your story for some fresh air, you can return to it with new vigor, ready to write a better story than you would have if you'd tried to just push through.
Don't burden your story with limiting expectations of what it "should" be.
If you have high intentions for your book, by all means, live up to them.
But don't limit your story by placing constricting requirements on it that demand it to be less than what it can be.
If you want to write something, but it isn't in your plans for your current project, see if you can weave it in.
I wasn't planning on including deep explorations of the characters' psyches in this book, even though I love writing those. Indeed, I missed writing them. But they weren't part of the plan.
Depending on how compatible your latest impulse is with your current project, this may not be viable for your situation. But it's certainly worth exploring.
I look forward to reading your comments.