Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Trying Something New ...

Ever feel like switching writing genres?

If you're a published author, this may not be as much of an option for you. There is a lot to say for the benefits of developing a distinctive brand and a following.  Because of this, your experiments with genres will likely be mostly limited to hobby-writing. The stuff you don't plan on publishing.

If you're not published though ... the world of genres is wide open. You can go try something crazy, or you could make a smaller shift in your genre.

Most of my writing has been in Young Adult. I often call it Contemporary Young Adult, to differentiate it from other styles like YA Dystopian or whatever.

Okay, quick moment of transparency: YA is a genre. I don't know if Contemporary or Dystopian or Whatever are really sub-genres of YA. I sort of made that up, and at the moment I don't feel like checking to find out what Google thinks. Not very professional, I know. But just bear with me--I'm trying to communicate my ideas as clearly as possible, and these labels seem necessary at the moment.

Now that the disclaimer is out of the way ...

My particular style of YA is set in present day, and I usually deal with big life-issues; in the past I've written about the death of a parent, juvenile delinquency, and foster care. One of my current works-in-progress deals with the disappearance of  an autistic teenager.

Within these issues, I focus a lot on my main character's spiritual development. I'm not usually the writer to throw in explosions, earthquakes, or fight scenes.

But I'm trying something new. An idea came to me recently that would push me out of my normal genre boundaries. If YA Action/Suspense is a thing, it's where I'm headed with my current story. And I've already found out that I know nothing about writing this genre.

That said, here are my top two suggestions for those of you thinking of experimenting with a new genre:

1. Pinterest. I feel a little silly suggesting it, but I've found useful links on there that will probably help me learn to write more action-oriented scenes. So try it out.

2. Read the genre you want to write. Find a book that typifies the style you want to write, and read it. See how the author does what he does. If you're desperately worried you'll copy the author's style, then just make a point to read several different authors within this genre.

So there you go. My current top two ideas for learning a new genre.

You have any other ideas? Comment below and teach me something new!

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