practical experience, FTW
My best advice is to read read read read read. Read a lot, read different styles and genres. And next is write write write write write. Purposefully challenge yourself, and if you do end up with repetitive themes, know it's not because you never tried anything else, but because that is what you love and what your good at.
I've been having that problem myself lately. I just realized how similar all of my openings are to my other works. Granted, I'm not published but I still see it.
Originally Posted by Stanley
Right now, I'm trying to force myself to take a different path. A different opening, a different dialogue, scene or whatever. If I feel like I've done it before, then I scratch from my mental list and try something different.
I'm also considering writing in a different POV to see how that changes things up.
On top of that, I'm also reading writers I like but don't necessarily write in my genre.
I don't know how well all of this is going to work but I'm going to hope for the best.
Does anyone have any other tips that might be helpful?
It may help you to get a good handle on the wonderful worlds of slang and idiom. There are slang thesauruses out there too that come with all the health warnings of regular thesausruses, but you might find them useful for sparking new shapes to existing thoughts. There's a real poetry to a lot of slang - even the vulgar sort.