Thursday, March 10, 2011

Genre Jumping

In a very small sample size, my recent manuscript is doing well so far with agents. Much better than I expected. The genre for this MS is YA Contemporary. Prior to this, I’d only written some sort of fantasy – YA Fantasy, MG Urban Fantasy, and Paranormal. There was always some element of not-normalness in my writing. But those rarely did well with the agents I submitted them to.

Now though, I’m beginning to question my genre choice. Have I been a YA Contemporary writer masquerading as a fantasy writer? Or, have I developed my writing skills to the point where I am a good enough writer that agents like my work now?

I’d like to think it’s the latter. Writing is certainly easier now than when I started and I’m more conscientious of what to do and what not to do. My first MS was an epic failure and I’ve progressed significantly, not that it was hard to get better than that. My characters no longer change personalities three times in a chapter. There’s a coherent tone from beginning to end. Half a dozen adverbs don’t litter every sentence.

So would I have been doing as well if I’d decided to write Fantasy again instead of venturing into new territory? I hope so. But doubt nags at the back of my mind.

The question is important because I’m trying to figure out what to write next. I’m bouncing around ideas from a couple genres. Would Contemporary YA be a smart choice because I’m playing to my strengths? Or will my next MS be more successful because of my growth as a writer?

I have some time while I tweak my query and take a brief break from writing and editing. Next week, though, I’ll be back at it and starting work on a new WIP. And before then I need to decide what genre I’ll be doing when I open my word processer to type that first sentence.

Has anyone else had a similar circumstance where they switched genres and discovered new success? Any advice?

1 comment:

  1. wheeee I am your first follower! So that requires I leave a comment ----

    Well I have never jumped the fence - my stuff is always in the paranormal range. Fantasy is part often - but I have tried to write other stuff - then some stupid vampire shows up and spoils my happy little world - or an elf ---or a little mind reading. I gave up - trying to do what doesn't flow for me. I can't seem to write anything plain. There is always undertone of scary - so it just doesn't fly when I try to go feel good or thoughtful. My contest 250 is up if you want to pop over and get your critique feet wet. Say what you like - I have no delicate feelings and prefer truth. red ink is love - grin.
    Have a great night!