Monday, March 8, 2010

I Already Deja'd This Vu

When I was writing the full scene from the other day, there was a word I used quite a bit. Fireball. Now, one of the characters has the ability to create fireballs, so it's not that strange. But not too long ago, I wrote a different scene, in a different novel, also involving lots of fireballs.

It was funny to see how I used this same element (fireballs) in two completely different ways-- a romantic scene in which a magic spell goes awry, and a battle scene in which the fireballs are a weapon.

It got me thinking.

I wonder what other similarities I can find in my novels...

The element: A restaurant scene, usually accompanied with a nosy waitress
The WiPs: Untouched, Blood Ties, Temper, Plural

Hey, characters gotta eat too! For some reason I like the restaurant setting as a backdrop. You can also learn a lot about someone by what they eat and how they act in a restaurant. But mostly, it's probably because I've worked in a restaurant for three years. Write what you know, eh? In BT and Temper the restaurant scenes are really important. In Plural, Claire works as a hostess at a restaurant. In Untouched there are THREE restaurant scenes, two are important, one needs to be nixed.

* * * * *

The element: A roof scene
The WiPs: Temper, Plural of Love

When I was younger I always liked to climb on the roof. At one of my old houses the roof was really flat and in the summer my friends and I would lay on it to tan. My mom hated it. In Plural, Claire sneaks out of her house via the roof, and there's also a scene on the roof of a very tall business building. In Temper, there's a fight scene on the roof of the mall.

* * * * *

The element: A scene in a park
The WiPs: Plural, Untouched

Guess I'm still a little kid at heart. In Untouched the characters go to the park and play on the slides and swings. In Plural, the reason Claire sneaks out of her room is because she's meeting up with The Boy at a park.

* * * * *

The element: Books
The WiPs: Plural, Untouched, Blood Ties

My characters like to read. In Plural, Claire blows half her paycheck on books every week, even though she already has a huge pile waiting to be read. Familiar, eh? In Untouched, Gwen studies the rules of being a grim reaper in giant, giant book. In BT, Elle steals a ton of books from the city to teach the younger kids about magic.

* * * * *

The element: Pretending to be someone you're not
The WiPs: Blood Ties, Temper

In Temper, Connor reluctantly assumes Captain Power's identity. In BT, Elle pretends to be a pure-blood princess, when really she is a half-blood rebel. This is short to keep my secrets a secret.

* * * * *

The element: Gloves to prevent skin contact
The WiPs: Untouched, Temper

In Untouched, Gwen can't touch James or she'll kill him, so she has to wear gloves around him. In Temper, Freezepop can't touch anyone or they'll freeze. The gloves are always part of her uniform, and she only takes them off if she's serious about freezing someone.

* * * * *

The element: Montgomery
The WiPs: Plural, Temper, Untouched

I guess I'm not terribly creative when it comes to naming streets and whatnot. In Plural, Claire lives on Montgomery Street. In Temper, there's Montgomery Bridge. In Untouched, it's Montgomery Street... again. I've never lived or seen a real life Montgomery anything. I have no idea where this one came from.

* * * * *

The element: Siblings (MCs have 'em, their love interests do not)
The WiPs: Plural, Temper, Untouched, BT

Probably because I'm the oldest of three, but I've not yet written an only child. But the strange part is, all of the love interests are only children. Don't know why! I like the many different dynamics of sibling relationships. In Plural and Untouched, the MCs have younger sisters. In BT, Elle has a younger brother. In Temper, Connor has an older brother. Even in my first attempt at writing a novel, an epic fantasy which had both elves and a prologue (and elves IN the prologue) the MC had a younger sister.

There are a couple more I can think of, but this could get really spoiler-y, and I like to keep my secrets.

What elements have you used in different stories?


  1. Kat,

    What a fascinating read! I don't know if I could come up with as many concrete examples as you, but I definitely have a creepy teacher and a mean girl in a couple of my stories. Also, birds have made appearances quite frequently.

    Thanks for not including spoilers :)

  2. This is really interesting! I'm going to have to go back through my stories to see what keeps popping up over and over.

    I will say that both of the love interests for my MC are only children. Intersting since I have two brothers and my husband has four siblings. Not a lot of only children in my life.

  3. Roofs, I've used them in multiple MSes, same thing with starry nights, car accidnets, and a couple other things.

  4. Wow, what an interesting exercise. I can't think about any deja vu-ness in my novels, but I know that they're there. I admit to using the same street or city names in my stories because I'm too lazy to come up with others. And research... if I take a long time researching something, I'll usually slip pieces of that research into more than just the novel it was originally for. I feel like I wasted it otherwise, don't ask me why.

    I think that the connection/deja vu thing is an awesome little tidbit for faithful readers... I know that whenever I read multiple books from a writer and there are cameos or returning elements, I feel like I've been let in on some amazing secret. 8D

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