Blog Chain: How It All Began

Blog Chain time again, and I have the honor of starting the chain! It’s my very first time too. So, on the theme of firsts, I’d like to know: How did you come to write your YA genre (e.g. contemp, fantasy, etc.)? AND (yep, it’s a 2 parter), if you weren’t writing that, what genre would you be interested in exploring?

Part 1:

If you’ve been reading this blog (or even if you glanced at the Book page on my site), you know I write contemporary literature. For me, it wasn’t an exploration of one genre as opposed to another. As a kid, those were my favorite books, and any time I wrote stories–even as early as elementary school–they were realistic fiction. Once in a while, I’d throw a fairy in there, but the setting was still completely the world as we know it. The more I read, the more I thought I wanted to write about “issues” teens encountered. When I was going through a difficult time, those books showed me I wasn’t alone (or that there were teens who had it far worse). I couldn’t relate to fantasy or sci-fi–unless they were set in contemp worlds–and they frustrated me rather than helped me escape. To be honest, writing another genre just never occurred to me. (Or maybe I was too scared to try. :-))

Part 2:

This is tough. I really don’t know what else I would write. Historical fiction, probably, but nothing before the 1960s. The MG I’m working on is actually historical fiction but it’s set in a time period I know a lot about. It’s still contemp, though, so I don’t know if this counts. It’s not like it’s historical fiction with a paranormal element or even a time machine. Speaking of, originally that’s what I was going to do with the MG–start in present, then send the MC back in time. Then, a writer friend of mine and my agent pointed out that if the time machine was only there to transport the kid back in time, why put it in at all? So I took it out (wasn’t that tough of a decision after I realized there were a bunch of time travel issues I would have to address, and did I need more work? Nope.). It’s been really fun writing this book, and both historical fiction and MG were not books I would have thought I would write when I began my writing journey, but they came so naturally. And that must be a sign. πŸ™‚

To read more stories of beginnings, check out Sarah’s super post.


16 comments for “Blog Chain: How It All Began

  1. September 2, 2010 at 7:35 am

    I think it’s easiest to write the genre you know. Still, it sounds as if you’re exploring new ones with your current book, and that’s good too. Good luck with your project!

  2. September 2, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    I’m so glad that you DO write what you do, because you’re so great at it πŸ™‚

  3. September 4, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    Great question! It’s nice to look back to see where things have started and to compare them to now! πŸ˜€ I, too, ended up writing in the genre I grew up reading. πŸ˜‰

  4. September 5, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Great question, Margie! I’m like you–the genre I write is the one that came to me naturally, and I never really thought much about writing something else.

  5. September 6, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    It’s fascinating that genres so associated with escape — sci fi and fantasy — frustrate you when you want to escape. I imagine there are a lot of kids out there like you, who want contemporary fiction and may be dismayed by the hugeness of MG/YA fantasy right now.

  6. September 6, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    I love historical fiction! Bernard Cornwell is the king of the genre in my opinion! I think we all write what we love to read and what is in our hearts! So glad you’ve found what’s in yours πŸ™‚

  7. September 6, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    That’s exactly why I write YA – to help kids through tough times. Because, Lord knows, I relied heavily on books while I was growing up.

  8. September 7, 2010 at 8:50 am

    yep, I started writing the gothic romances I grew up reading. I think it’s a natural gravitation to write what we love to read πŸ™‚

  9. September 7, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    See, this is why I love this blogchain. There are so many different writers here that I get to view our craft from some interesting perspectives. And they say my question was good? Nah, this one is awesome. Nice job.

  10. September 12, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    Great question. I also am drawn towards writing genres similar to what I like to read.

  11. Kat
    September 16, 2010 at 8:36 am

    I’ve made my way backward through the blog chain. It’s been really interesting to see some of the responses so far. Great question.

  12. B.J. Anderson
    September 17, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    Great topic! And super great answer. πŸ™‚

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