Thursday, December 3, 2009

How do you decide?

I just read an excellent post by Natalie on the differences between YA and MG. Even though it was about the differences between the two genres, it got me thinking about why I chose to write YA. I love reading all genres, except horror and maybe mystery, although I've never really given either a chance.

When I look in my bookshelf I have my books divided into genres. Books on how to write, YA (mostly fantasy - but I'm trying to branch out), adult contemporary (Diana Gabaldon, according to my sister in law, saved her marriage), adult humor (love Nick Hornby and Larry Doyle is hysterical), and I also have a section of literary books.

So, since I love reading a lot of different books why do I love to write YA? I think it's because I fell in love with reading those MG and YA novels. Those books were my friends when I didn't have any at school. They helped me through some tough times in my teenage years, and since I'm the youngest child they were a good companion. I feel a connection to their stories and reading them makes me feel young because even though I'm inching closer to 40, I'm still 16 in my heart. Okay maybe not 16 that was a bad year, but definitely 17.

Why did you choose the genre you write in.

23 comments:

Robyn Campbell said...

Good question, Patti. I chose adventure because I had this great adventure story to tell. I wanted to write for MG so that I could help these kids develop an early love of reading. I want them to realize that they can travel anywhere or be anyone as they're reading.

Plus I write picture books too. So showing kids what fun reading is, is my primary goal. Great post. :)

Suzette Saxton said...

Usually, no matter what story I have in mind, it comes out as MG.

Recently the opposite happened. I had an MG book in mind, but when I sat down to write it came out YA! :D

Lovely blog!

Chantele said...

I love YA. I love the first love stories, the fantasy elements and seeing how the character changes throughout the story. I love how teenagers make their decisions, and usually just "do" things rather than think things through. I don't know. I just love writing YA, and plan on sticking with it for a long time.:)

jenniferneri said...

Fun question!
I did not choose to write in any genre. The story came, and that was that. I actually tend to write a little bit of many things, and if I have it my way and get to write for many years I will probably have covered many genres. Not such that's such great thing in the eyes of a publisher...

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I have ALWAYS been obsessed with picture books. I probably own over a thousand of them. I train teachers in the upper grades (all subject areas) how to utilize picture books in their classrooms. I guess it was just inevitable that I would write them, too! :)

Patti said...

Robyn:I think it's great to try and instill reading in kids.

Suzette: I heard that once. She said no matter what story she had, she usually adapted it to YA.

Chantle: I'm hoping I can make my characters make better choices than I did, or maybe not.

Jennifer: Better to choose it now.

Shannon: I think most picture books are harder to write than one might think.

Jessica said...

I guess I can't imagine writing anything that doesn't include romance and Jesus, so I do inspirational romances. :-) They're what I like to read, but I also read other genres too.
Thanks for sharing about why you write YA. :-)

Mim said...

I write in my genre for two reasons. One it is the one I love to read, and I keep coming back to. I read all types of YA. Two I really think there needs to be a bit more happy and uplifting YA. I enjoy the dark edgy stuff, don't get me wrong, but I also think that normal needs to be there. Although how normal is my stuff going to be when it's fantasy?

Terri Tiffany said...

I started out writing inspirational romance cause I read so many and I am such a romantic--then I read some women's fiction and was hooked--so I lean more that direction now.

Dara said...

I chose my genre ecause I love history. It's a passion as close to my heart as writing is--sometimes even more so. I still remember the first book that set me off on writing historicals--"Meet Kirsten" of the American Girl series--followed by nearly every other one of those books with all the different girls.

I also used to dream of being an archeologist, so writing about "what could've been" is as close to digging up actual artifacts as I'll be any time soon--or ever :P

Candice said...

I just decide by the story that comes to me. In general those stories deal with YA characters, but I'm also writing a book with older characters, and I wouldn't be opposed to MG if I had an idea. One of these days I'm going to have to settle on just one age group, I think. :)

Renee Collins said...

I'm definitely all YA too. I love more intense romance, and I have a taste for slightly darker stories, so YA just fits. That said, if I ever got an MG idea I'd be totally game. There really are some fantastic MG stories out there.

Carolyn V. said...

I write YA because, like you, I loved to read it. Plus I've been told I have a YA voice. Very cool.

melane said...

I'm writing YA right now. I struggled with trying to figure out what I would write for years, and I figured out that I was reading YA more than adult books. So it seemed like a natural fit.

lauraabest said...

Before "Bitter, Sweet," which is YA, I wrote short stories and it seemed the more I wrote the more I seemed to settle into writing stories that involved children. I find a child's voice very comfortable.

Shelli said...

my brain and iq stopped growing at 14

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Hey, Patti! I write women's fiction and I just kind of fell into mine. I'm a Southerner and I love the South, but my stories are focused on women's issues. So I write women's fiction with a Southern element. :0)

Kasie West said...

I love Nick Hornby too. :) Why YA? Good question. I think because, like you, I still feel young at heart. I still remember the emotions and struggles I had as a youth. And I also love to read YA and I think it's an important age and there needs to be lots of good books for this group to read.

Heidi Willis said...

I've always loved YA, but I read a really wide variety of genres. When I first considered writing I wanted to write chapter books or MG. I'm apparently not wired that way, though. :) It's not like I chose a genre... it's more like it chose me.

Patti said...

It's interesting how we are all attracted to different genres. Isn't it wonderful.

Susan R. Mills said...

I love reading YA, so that's what I write. I actually tried to write an adult contemporary. Oh, that did not go well. Also, I'm still 17 too!

lotusgirl said...

I love reading all types of books, but YA really speaks to me. I'm about 15 in my head--really. My kids can attest to that.

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

Ah, I love Diana Gabaldon. I choose to write urban fantasy because I have to have some magic and impossible in my stories. That's what makes them great for me. I drift into the YA realm because I like the whole coming of age thing. My entire life and view of the world changed when I was 16. Maybe that's why I think it's such an important time

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