When I began outlining my WIP, which still has no clever title of which to speak, I wanted to write a straight-up murder mystery thriller. But with time, research and my inner wiles running freely, it transformed into this disturbing and terrifying murder mystery thriller with an abundance of horror laced with Louisiana lore.
The more I dug through the trenches of the taboo traditions of hoodoo, voodoo, Delphine LaLaurie, the mysterious Axeman, Rougarou and the twisted, maniacal cults, the more intrigued I was to add these elements into the book, taking it in a much different direction. And I am thrilled to have done so.
As writers, we tend to have very clear visions of our work, wanting to tell a specifically planned story. In doing so, sometimes we don’t allow new ideas to permeate, creating new and exciting elements for the work. I’m certainly not too proud to admit the original story I set out to write could have very well come off as dull, adding nothing new to the genre.
Allowing these new elements into the book has created many layers of backstory and atmosphere. It shows how depraved many of my characters are below the surface of their upper-crust, high-society Southern facades. It has created more twists and turns which makes a who-done-it such as this flourish!
I try to not be rigid in my process. It tends to impede creativity and makes our work suffer. Writers pour their heart and soul into each work and that should be evident in its content. Sometimes I feel like there are well-known writers out there who think what works for them should work for everyone, therefore anyone who deviates from that “norm” cannot be a successful writer. I say, to each his own! Let creativity reign!