Sunday, January 29, 2012

You Tell Me: What Drew You to Your Genre?

Heidi Windmiller had a very interesting post the other day where she wondered if writers in their 30s are drawn to the YA genre because the characters are often focused on things that make their bodies function better because in your 30s you begin to feel the aging process.  Are YA writers trying to reclaim their youth in some way, as she suggests?

Well I can't say because I don't write YA but I would love to hear from YA writers out there as to why they chose and why they love YA.

As I said in my comment on Heidi's post, I started writing at 11 years old and I couldn't wait to grow up so I could write about adult themes in my books.  I was reading real adult books by the time I was 13 and I never looked back.  I'm not really sure what drew me to more serious, morbid themes but they were there in my writing as early as 11 years old.  In fact the first book I ever wrote, which was called "Black Summer" was about three teenaged girls who had all just lost their parents.  My favorite young adult writer was Christopher Pike whose books also dealt with serious themes (i.e. death, abusive people, even crime).  As I've said in previous posts, I believe that fiction gives writers a safe place from which to explore their most nagging questions.  Even as a child, the question of how people survive horrible things preoccupied me.  Even though my initial stabs at writing as an adult were more in the vein of literary fiction, they still dealt with grief and loss.  I'm a barrel of fun as you can see!  (Hmmm . . . maybe all those R rated movies I saw before I was ten years old weren't a great idea . . . )

Anyway, I would really like to hear from all of you--what drew you to your own genre?  Why do you enjoy writing in that genre?

17 comments:

  1. I've always liked to shock people. I like a jaw drop reaction and one of the best ways to do it is through writing. I guess that's what got me started.

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    1. Well you are exceptionally good at it! And those plot twists are positively brilliant!

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  2. Hmm. Tough question, if only because I'm still not 100% certain what it is I'm writing, hah hah! Seriously, I tend to write more about people and how they relate to each other because it interests me, and because that's where my writing takes me once I apply fingers to keys.

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    1. You've definitely found a niche there. You're so good at capturing the nuances!

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  3. Ha! Well, I've tried on a lot of genres. I've written MG, YA, Thriller, Literary, Historical, Fantasy, and now Speculative/Dystopian Fiction. Historical and spec fiction are perhaps my favorite to read, so that's where I've sort of settled for now. It does seem to fit the best of all the ones I've tried on.

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    1. Seriously the book you talk about on your blog that is set in Wales sounds so awesome. I would love to read it!

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  4. I wrote an adult thriller because that's what I like to read. If I was an attorney, they might be legal thrillers, but I end enjoy the head games of psychological thrillers best. I crave the excitement & seek to be taken away from mundane life.

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    1. I am so with you on this one!!!! I'm glad you wrote The Mistaken because it's one of the best adult thrillers I've ever read!

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  5. I like inventing lore and complicating my characters' relationships. ParaRom was a good fit. ;)

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    1. I like complicating my characters' lives too! You do paranormal so perfectly. So subtle. It's awesome.

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  6. The story in my head. Also, I love the ages 16-18 bc so many pivotal things happen for good or bad in a young person's life that affects the rest of their life. So my MCs are generally that age.

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    1. There is something to that--everything is so intense when you are a teenager. Things are magnified.

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  7. Hey Lisa! I've tried out several genres-YA, historical romance, paranormal, mystery, and dystopian-but I tend to have some sort of paranormal aspect in all of them...except historical romance. I enjoy reading paranormal mystery/thriller so I suppose thats why I like to write it.

    I have always been a huge fan of the godlike Stephen King and when I was younger Christopher Pike was one of my writing gurus. Maybe thats why I like the supernatural/horror/paranormal genre so much.

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    1. I heart Christopher Pike more than you can know! I like to write the same things I like to read as well.

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  8. I'm a new follower to your blog after Cassie's wonderful mention!

    I'm a bit of an oddity! I feel I can write romance, action, drama, horror, mystery--so I'm wrestling always with wondering if I'm in YA, Contemporary Romance, horror, or Sci-Fi! What appeals to me is the human element of the story. The relationships and the interchanges between characters. To me, it keeps me writing, no matter what the genre!

    BTW, awesome post!

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    1. Welcome, great to have you! I think sometimes it's hard to stay in one genre because writers are exploratory by nature. I think a good story that focuses on the interchange between characters will carry across genres. That's what makes a book great at its core.

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  9. I write historical fiction because history was always my favorite subject in school, and I've always been more drawn to things and people of bygone eras (silent film, classic rock, antique cars, etc.) than to anything or anyone modern. Much of what I write is about young people because I was a young person when I began seriously writing, and it would've seemed beyond silly and out of my league for a preteen to have been writing books about adults instead of peers, even if those peers were coming of age during WWII and not the present day. Most of my YA has a Bildungsroman quality to it because many of the young people's books I read were episodic books tracing a character's childhood or growing-up, instead of fast-paced and set over a very short time period.

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