Some of you may know that I’m a contemporary YA writer – I write about real circumstances and school and friendships and sometimes talking spiders (which is the only fantasy element in an otherwise contemporary novel, and I have no idea why I did it). But lately I’ve been wanting to branch out.
Oh, and HOW COOL IS THIS GIF??
The first stories I wrote, when I was little, were fantasy. They had fairies in them, and wizards, and my first “novel” was called Daughter of Merlin (I don’t even want to look at that pile of rubbish anymore).
But then I hit some sort of turning point, and I started writing contemporary with my novel Hoping for Rain (which is also rubbish, so let’s not go there). After that it was Mutual Weirdness and The Language Barrier (working title) and Granny.
All of those are contemporaries.
But my most recent ideas are not. I want to write an Alice in Wonderland retelling, and an MG from the point of view of a villain. I want to write a sci-fi about a girl with depression who is assigned a clone of her former self to help combat her mental illness. I want to write about mermaids and fairytales and real situations and I want to write ALL the things.
This doesn’t seem to be very common in the writing world. There are authors like John Green, who write only contemporary, and writers like Cassandra Clare who write speculative fiction. There aren’t many authors I can think of who dabble in all different genres. Well, I know of one fairly large one: J K Rowling.
But people have actually criticised her for going into different genres. It seems like as an author, people need a specific brand, something that makes them identifiable. But I don’t want to limit myself to contemporary YA when I haven’t even explored the possibility of being better at some other genre.
There are so many opportunities out there to write about different things. I love writing contemporary, and I’m sure that will always be my dominant genre, but I also love READING other genres, so it stands to reason that I’d like writing them as well. I don’t even know if I’ll stick to writing YA – which isn’t a genre, it’s a category, but still, that might change! I don’t want to be defined like J K Rowling has been defined as a “children’s writer.” Really, she’s just a writer, and she should have the freedom to write about whatever she wants.
In some ways, I’m glad I’m not published or agented or any of that, because it gives me the opportunity to write whatever I want, whenever I want, and however I want. I guess I should cherish that freedom while I’ve got it, right?
Do you write in different genres? Why or why not?