Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Genre jumping ... Good Thing or Not?

Pic found here
Now that the Kailmeyra series is complete, what's next?

It's a questions that's asked often, and one I've been able to side step ... until now. 

Like most writers,  I have about 20K already written on six or seven new works, and so I did the smart thing this time and contacted my agent with a "what do you wanna see next" kind of email. 

She asked to see the first chapter and synopsis of the three strongest storylines. A few days later she emailed back with a thumbs up on a YA historical/steampunk kind of story that could either be spiced up to NA or taken down to middle grade. 

I smiled. I liked that one too. 

And so I cracked open the folder, pulled up the old WIP and got to work.  

The problem was the magic was gone. I don't know whether it was because it had sat for over a year, or that I had talked to several people about it (which my daughter swears is the kiss of death for developing ideas), but the magic was gone. Every word was a struggle. The characters were flat. And, don't even get me started on the weak descriptors and lack of world building.  

I floundered with a few more chapters before finally giving up. 

And then it hit me. 

I needed to go back to my roots and write for me. But what story would I honestly like to read? 

That night, I stayed up way past my bedtime and wrote the first three chapters. It's been eight weeks and I'm already up over 60,000. My goal is to have the first draft completed by the end of this month. 

The novel seems to be writing itself. I'm back to waking up in the morning thinking about the characters, looking out the window, thinking about the characters, driving while ... well you get the idea. 

I love the story. The characters are amazing. The premise is original (at least my friend Mr. Google says it is. :-) 

This feels different from anything I've written. 

While it is paranormal, there is no fantasy. The setting is modern day, not a different world. There is very little symbolism, and the book is third person, not first. Too, these characters cuss, they are hardened by life and yet manage to keep their humanity. There is violence ... and love, with some steamy scenes like I've never written before. 

Which puts me at a cross roads. I'm in love with the book, but this is definitely NOT young adult. 

I've slated it for New Adult, but it could be considered straight adult paranormal.  

And doesn't that scare a girl half to death? 

Young Adult has been home for the past four years. High school girls contact me regularly, and I console myself that my readers are growing up and going to college. They need a story that can grow with them. Too, I'm very blessed to have a lot of cross over readers who fit the 25+ demographic. I don't think connecting with existing readers will be a problem. 

But I sometimes question if it's the right move. 

I'm still early enough in the work to change things around and make it YA, although I think we'll lose something in the transition. 

And so, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Should I stick with YA or go no holds barred and write a more complex, graphic story for an older audience. 

What do you think?