The way I see it, if it's not a challenge, why write it? I want to push myself, see how far I'm able to go while still being true to myself. I want to learn. I want to spin words in a way that will take my readers on journeys no one else could possibly take them on. I don't think I'll ever get there if I don't push the next limit every time I get a chance.
The ideas I've explored for my different books have been so random, taking on different subgenres and elements with each one, I haven't had a problem matching the right elements with the right books. My most recent challenge, cyberpunk, has proven an intense new vehicle for world building, plot, and characterization. It's also been a joy (and a total pain in the ass) to write.
I've really found myself fascinated with some of the subgenres I've read very little of, such as cyberpunk and bizarro, and I've been super excited to see how those subgenres have cropped up. I don't read much romance these days, and yet I'm finding strong romantic elements slipping into this book. The muses have found a way to fold all those different elements in surprising ways.
For the first time in my life, however, if someone were to ask me, "What's your book about," I would have no idea what to say. I asked my husband, who's been a first reader, if he could think of a three-sentence description for this book, and he said he could not, but that "the story just somehow works."
I have an even greater challenge ahead of me. I'm about 15,000-20,000 words from the book's climax, which I already know is going to take a lot of thought, time, and coffee. Juggling all of the story's elements in a way that will feel genuine will not be easy, but I'm excited to take on the challenge. There's something satisfying about taking on something you know will be difficult and seeing it through to a successful end. Wish me luck on this one; I'm going to need the help of the muses if my novel isn't going to build all this way just to do a belly flop at the end.
P.S.: I'll let you know when I finally figure out how to describe my book. Until next time....