Wednesday, March 3, 2010

In Which Things Fall Into Place

"The most improbable tales can be made believable, if your reader,through his sense, feels certain that he stands at the middle of events."

~Ray Bradbury~

Every once in a while, I have an 'aha!' moment. One of those moments happened the other day.

I've been working on my current WIP for a while now and while I really enjoy the story and the whole theme, I'm just not enjoying writing it. Right now. A post by Debra Schubert at Write On Target kind of made me stop and think. What if I like what I'm writing but I don't love it? Do I put it aside and start something fresh or do I push through this 'down' period?

And that's when I realized I feel trapped by my genre. I write contemporary YA which I love because it has such a real feel to it. But my head keeps wandering to the idea of writing something a little more exciting. A little more adventurous. A little less real.

I've always wanted to try writing fantasy of some sort. Paranormal, that kind of thing. It's what I read mostly, so it makes sense I'd want to try it. But I've always shied away based on the fact that I don't see myself as a true creator of worlds. Changing genres is intimidating and not a choice to be taken lightly, especially when I hope to make a career out of this.

But I'm going to try. I've had an idea rolling around in my head for a long time now, and I think I might have something good going on.
A lot of you have encouraged me to try this in the past, so I'm going to jump in feet first!
Wish me luck.

Have you ever changed genres? Have you ever felt trapped by something you're writing? What have you done to change this?


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Arggg...blasted fast typing without proofreading. Sorry for the deleted post. Anywho.

    I've felt the exact same way lately, being a realist in the YA world. My problem is over-thinking. Could I really do it? Would it turn out alright or sound fakey? Are unicorns born with horns or are they earned? You know, the usual.

    I'm feeling a bit trapped by my current WIP because it's taken up a year of my life, so the need to finish it and make it
    AMAZINGLY-SUPERBLY-AWESOME kind of gets me down at times. To change it? I've yet to find any other answer other than to work my way through no matter how tough. Some say don't force it, but sometimes you've just got to power through to get to the end (and maybe see one of those unicorns).

    I wish you luck! May one of us (or both) successfully cross over the other side!

  3. I don't feel trapped by my genre. I write YA Urban Fantasy. For me, writing about the impossibilities and not be bounded by "real-life" is exhilarating. I've tried to write contemporary YA and I just don't feel like it fits me as well, my mind always goes to how what I'm writing could be turned into fantasy.

  4. I guess that's why I didn't try anything contemporary for my first WIP - I don't want to be trapped by everyday things. I love reading fantasy and sci/fi so that's what I'm going to stick with while I'm learning this whole writing process. So far it's worked for me (other than the writing slump I was in for a few months).

    Good luck with your new WIP!

  5. I changed my current WIP from a PB to a chpater book - much better. *sigh* :-)

  6. YES! I've changed several times in fact. I love fantasy (my first MS was fantasy) but I think I'm better at contemporary. I'll go back and try it again someday though.

  7. I've not experienced this yet, but I can definitely see myself branching out into horror someday. I would think this would be more difficult if you were a published author where your readers would expect a certain style. I believe thats why some novelist use pen names when they write in a different genre.

  8. I want to write a whole pile of genres :)

    I'm currently working on a Steampunk YA mystery and romantic mystery for adults. I'd like to try fantasy & scifi too, but not yet!

  9. I write in several genres. When I feel a click, that's probably where I'll stay. Congrats on taking this step. It's a big one.

  10. I've written YA, a picture book and adult. I just love to tell the story that intrigues me. Unfortunately, the agents keep saying we need to settle into a genre and stay put while establishing a fan base. Should we be so lucky to get published that could be an issue, unless you are a super star like Neil Gaiman who writes whatever he pleases.

  11. Hi Julie! I've seen your beautiful face around the blogosphere but I never found my way to your blog. I LOVE your blog background!

    I found you by way of Julie Dao's site :)

    Great post today. I've grown the most as a writer in the moments when I've tried a new genre -- stepped outside my comfort zone -- and I recommend it. Even if you just pen a short story, trying a new genre will open creative doors you didn't know were closed. After all, what story is exclusively written in one genre? Action/Adventure stories usually have Romance in them, Sci-fi often has Historical Fiction mixed in, the list goes on and on.

    I wish you luck in your experimentation. And, I look forward to reading more from you!

  12. Me again...I have an award waiting for you at my blog. :)

  13. I totally feel your pain. Really. I actually just back-burnered (that's a word, right?)a project to begin working on something different. I stay away from genres as I really can't handle being pigeon holed by the requirements therein but I usually write something psychologically intensive (character wise)and, honestly, I just got annoyed with the most recent project. So, I have now begun work on something plot based, still literary style, but not at all a contemporary piece.

    As I read recently - right now is the opportunity to just have fun with what you're writing. Do what you want, as you want/need while you can (pre-contract).

    Best of luck in your new endeavor! [As my husband told me: Putting a work aside for now is not a problem - you're not crying "uncle" just trying something new.]

  14. Have you read Natalie Bahm's post today? Nice connection to what you mention here.

  15. Oh, good luck with your new project! I used to write MG, but now write YA. I still love MG and may go back to it in the future, too--though I don't plan to ever stop writing YA. I say keep your options open and listen to your heart. :)