Tuesday, November 24, 2009

One genre to rule them all?

First off Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends, which is most of you. I hope you have a great holiday.

Second. Here is a short question. A few weeks ago there were quite a few blogs about establishing your platform as a writer. So, here's m y question. If you start off writing YA fantasy do you need to stay with fantasy or can you do humorous or contemporary? How specialized do you have to stay?

14 comments:

JKB said...

Well, I dunno: I've heard the same as you, but then again I've seen YA fantasy writers selling contemporary novels, etc. I think it's all down to the story, and bollocks on anybody telling you not to do something.

I write MG, but in my MG there's a mystery, a literary, a contemporary and a magical realism. So I say, write what you love! The rest will follow.

Tamika: said...

Rachelle Gardner did a post on this months back. I can't remember the title snippet, but I would search her archives. She always has such helpful information as an agent.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Tabitha Bird said...

I have been wondering that exact thing. I will be interested to hear what your other comments say.

Carolyn V. said...

I've been lucky to work with a few published writers who told me, yes. You want to start your career with the books you like and want to write. You will build a fan following that will expect the same kind of writing from your next few books.

Once you get established as a writer, then you can dive into something new.

That's why I changed what I was writing to something I enjoyed more than what I had started with.

If you find out different, let us know (then I can go back to my old ms). =)

Jessica said...

I'm told that you need to stay pretty close, at least for the first few books. I think it would be harder for a bestseller to change genres than a midlist author.

I'll tell you something:
I loved Victoria Holt but I never read her other books written under a different name. Same think for Amanda Quick. I don't read her titles under Jayne Ann Krentz because they're contemporary/paranormal and I only like her historicals.
So genre really does matter to the reader. imo. :-)

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

I agree with Carolyn. That's what I've heard too. Have a great day!

Katie Ganshert said...

I think most people will say it's important, if you want to write for publication, to develop a brand. I've heard people say that when we're all over the place with genre, it might come across as if we're not focused.

But I also think there's something to be said about writing whatever story God lays on your heart, or whatever story you're feeling very passionate about. I know of authors who write in several different genres. Passion is more important than brand, in my opinion.

Lisa and Laura said...

I'm really interested in your question because the manuscript we've just completed is a lot different than the one we just sold. It's definitely upper YA as opposed to tween and it's a little darker, a little more serious than our first book. Our agent is reading it now so we'll keep you posted on what happens next. It might be a little easier for us since they're both contemporary just targeting different age groups.

Robyn Campbell said...

Patti, I write MG adventure, but I am writing a YA mystery. I figure adventure and mystery are kind of close. But who knows? Maybe I should just stick to MG adventure for now. Yikes! Now I'm stumped.

GAH! This is sooooooo confusing.

Happy Thanksgiving, Patti. :0)

Patti said...

Great comments. I think that you probably need to stick to a certain specific genre for a few books before thinking of making a leap somewhere else and maybe it's only a tiny leap at first. eg. YA - fantasy to YA - mystery.

strugglingwriter said...

I say do whatever you enjoy writing. Write what you like to read. That's my motto.

Writing is hard enough as it is, right? :)

Jody Hedlund said...

You will most likely need to decide a specific genre when you are looking for an agent. But if you are still in the exploring stage, then I say try out various genres until you land upon your style and voice!

Jessie Oliveros said...

My next WIP is MG fantasy...So if it is fantasy but not YA, does that count?

beth said...

I don't think it matters on whit--at least not until you're published, then just follow you agents/publisher's advice.

Here's the thing--if you're published, then you have a fanbase to cater to. But until then, no one cares what you write--but you.