Our Masterpieces...Err, Our Novels

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

How Do You Choose Your Genre?

Workout Song of the Day: "Radio" by Beyonce

I just stopped by one of my new fave blogs, YA Highway, and saw that they have this weekly item called "Road Trip Wednesday." It's a format so that bloggers from all over can answer a weekly question. My first time participating in this "trip" couldn't have come at a stranger time.

The question at stake: how do you choose your genre?

Oddly enough, I've never considered myself a "genre" writer. I just write what I know--and as a school counselor, what I lately "know" most about are the constant mood swings of teenagers. But, as I mentioned in my last post, I never considered myself a "YA" author until it was suggested by an agent I'm currently courting. :) I guess my answer to that question would be: I don't choose my genre, the genre chooses me. Original, I know--but at least I'm being sincere this time.

I'm still in my pursuit of digesting all things YA to get a better understanding of this genre, and I'll fill you all in on what I learn. I just ordered Freaks and Revelations by Davida Wills Hurwin, which I think may have the same amount of edge as my WIP. A book review will be up shortly!

The perfectionist in me says that I need to end with a strong conclusion, so I leave you with this: don't enter your writing with a genre in mind. Let the characters guide you--they'll tell you how everything needs to work out in the end. And if those voices get a bit too loud, at least I'm trained to help you quiet them down. Or at least snicker uncontrollably behind your back.


Michelle Schusterman said...

Yes!!! The genre chooses you. That's exactly how I feel about it too. :)

Amanda Hannah said...

I didn't realize I was a YA writer in the beginning either. But I think voice is much like genre, it just comes out the way it chooses to.
Great post!

Pam Harris said...

Thanks ladies! I like being validated. It makes me feel...what's the word? Powerful! :)

V said...

I think it's interesting that sometimes, possibilities don't occur to you until someone else suggests them (like "hey, why don't you write YA?"). Happens to me all the time! Great post.

Also, it's good to see another writer who runs. :-)

M. Hockaday said...

I couldn't agree with your more. I think just sitting down and writing will set you on the right path to determining what the genre will become. Good post!