Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Young Adult fiction

As a genre writer, I'm always questioning where exactly my writing fits in.  Is this fantasy, or science fiction?  What is this called?  My novels so far, in order, have been fantasy, fantasy/survival horror, fantasy/science fiction/young adult, and _____ whatever my current one is.  It's a mash-up of real life groups of people that would never interact on this world, and a tale of real human loss and redemption.  So, there's that.

My third novel was not YA by design.  It was a story that just happened to have a child as the protagonist.  A smart child, to be sure, but it was still the story of a child dealing with adult themes.  Eh, some adult themes.  That's another characteristic of my novels - there are really no truly adult themes in most of what I've written.  There isn't a lot of swearing, no sex, no gratuitous violence, and a handful of deaths that almost always happen off camera.  I've been wondering for a long time if all of my writing is YA, and I just don't know it yet.

So I got this idea a couple of days ago, and I thought it would make a great romance plot.  I've always wanted to write one of those, too, just for fun, and I have a couple of ideas, but this one just came to me in a torrent of ideas, and a couple of hours later I had an outline for a short novel.  Bam!  I love it when that happens.  I wasn't going to do anything with it, because I have this other novel that really deserves more of my attention, but today I started thinking.  If I made the main character a couple of years younger, and focused more of the story on her life and how these changes affect her, it would work way better as a young adult novel.  An on purpose one.

Now, I don't know anything about writing young adult fiction.  I was one not too long ago, and I still remember the strength of those thoughts and feelings, but I feel a little uncomfortable tapping in to them to write a book.  Adolescence was not such a good time for me.  But I really like the idea that I have, so I'm going to go for it.  It will be a learning experience, and anything I learn in the process, I'll share with you here.

Thanks for stopping by.  Check back soon if you want to see what progress I've made with this new idea!  I'm hoping to learn a lot more about a new genre in the process, and maybe I'll see that this is what I've been doing the whole time I've been writing.  Wouldn't that be something?  

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