Monday, March 23, 2009

YA -vs- Adult... I wanna write both!

Staged by principal author of Shallow Water Bl...Image via Wikipedia

I'm drowning in ideas for YA novels... Every week it seems like I'm outlining another fun book or series with a YA vibe to it. The cool thing about this is that each new idea seems better developed than the last. The bad thing is that all the time I'm spending writing up these synopses is time away from my nearly completed first draft of Instinct. But, if I don't write up these stories now, they'll be lost forever because of my bad memory. *groan*

Technically, I guess this isn't a horrible time for me to be taking a break from the writing aspect of Instinct though. You see I've recently decided to make a few little tweaks to the plot and a couple of main characters. These tweaks will affect a good portion of the book, but will make it a lot better. It will involve rewriting some scenes and layering in a lot of new information in other places, but it will be worth it in the end. One night I just had this moment of inspiration that set off a whole row of dominoes in my head until I knew what I had to do. I'm so excited to think about how these little changes will add a new sense of drama to the characters' lives as well as fill in a few plot holes.

So, why isn't this a bad time to outline other stories if I have so much new work to do? Simple. I have to let all of this new information "cook" in my subconscious for a few days so I can add it in as seamlessly as possible. I have a separate document typed up and handwritten pages of notes that will help, but... I don't know... it feels like when I first started outlining Instinct. I needed time to let my subconscious work out the kinks and once that was done, I started writing like a maniac. Taking the time to let everything settle in my head for a few days seems to be part of my process when I make big changes. (And these are big changes, but will be so much fun to write!)

This Just In: And just like that, while editing this blog post one of the new scene ideas *dinged* in my head and started playing. I typed up the outline and know exactly where to put it. I expect moments like this to happen off and on over the next week or so until everything is "fixed" in my head. But now, back to the somewhat regularly-scheduled blog post...

There is one thing that I am nervous about with all of my new book ideas though. If I'm successful and am able to get Instinct and the subsequent novels in the series published, how hard would it be to write YA novels after that? Instinct is one of those books that would be hard to classify. My MC is 21 so technically the story is at the extreme high end of what is typically considered YA, but I can easily see a teenager enjoying the book. I wish that I could believably change her age to 18, but that wouldn't work on many levels so I'm pretty sure it would end up classified a sweet, paranormal romance should it get published. Would it pigeonhole me into just writing romances if I were to find success with this story?

The stories that I want to write next are all YA and I've really enjoy creating these characters and their worlds. There's something about writing dialogue for a teenager that is so much fun. Maybe I can relate to teenagers because I love reading YA books and listening to the teen and tween music groups. It's not that I don't have ideas for new romance novels or that I have a problem with the genre (I love it!), but I just feel that the YA stories are better ideas and would be more enjoyable to write.

I hate to even think this way because I believe in Instinct so much, but what if it's meant to be my practice novel? The one I write first, but for whatever reason never gets published. What if all of these YA inspirations that I've been bombarded with lately are the universe's way of telling me what I'm supposed to be writing? Maybe I'm just scared to finish Instinct and my mind is looking for any excuse to keep me from working on it... *sigh* Then again, maybe I'm just over thinking things AGAIN...

I have no intention of quitting my journey to finish and publish Instinct. I love Casey and can't imagine not finishing her story and trying to share it with the world. So fear not, Casey Parker will not disappear! I just need to work on my ability to focus and try to regain control of my muse... Hah! Like I've ever had any control over him, but I can dream right?

If I can successfully make my tweaks to Instinct, then I think I would have a decent shot of publishing it somewhere. Anyone I've told the premise to says that they haven't seen a paranormal romance with my particular paranormal element before and that it sounds awesome. Agents and editors want new ideas right? But, what if finding success with Instinct makes it where I can't tell the stories of Brooke, Lisa, Megan, or...? Arrrggghhh... I need chocolate...

The current plan is to finish Instinct and then start writing whichever one of these YA stories inspires me the most at the time while on submission. If Instinct should happen to sell while I'm working on my new project, great! If not, I'll start submitting the complete YA story as well and let the universe decide which should be published. And, if both sell... I'll wake up and blog, "I just had the best dream..."

But anyway, until I blog again,
Talk 2ya later...

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beth said...

I so feel your pain!! I can only work on one WIP at a time--I really focus entirely on the one. And I know tht whatever ideas I don't write down are sacrificed. *sigh*

Willow said...

And then, if I ignore the new characters and their story, they start popping up in scenes in my main WIP. It gets quite annoying when you have a high school student popping up cross country from where they live and wandering the halls of a police academy in Boston. I don't even want to think what chaos would ensue if my newest heroine-in-progress showed up in the world of Instinct... *shudder* Then again... now that I think about it, it would be freaking hilarious! lol

aeryn said...

It is part of your process, do not fight it! I wish I was as productive at writing! I spent a whole night trying to come up with something and ended up with nothing :( BTW, do not change Casey!!!! I think it's ok to write for slightly different audiences. And you might discover when you actually write the YA stories that are a bit more complex and more adult than you originally thought... you never know. So just go with the flow.

Willow said...

Don't worry, lol! Casey won't change in any way except how I already mentioned to you in emails. (Aeryn is my beta reader btw) Seeing her deal with what I'm about to throw at her is going to be so much fun and I know exactly where it's all going to start, muahahahaha! :P

Robyn said...

Heyya Willow! Thought I'd pop in to see what you're up to.

I can only work on one WIP at a time but I do like to revise the early chapters while I'm still writing the end of the book.

I have to write the stuff down that I might forget and now I'm taking your advice and keeping a notebook by the bed.

And YA is the new adult anyway, huh? Hehehehe

Willow said...

Hey Robyn! Hope the notebook by the bed works for you, it's a godsend for me. I'm lazy once I find my comfy spot under the covers, so it saves me from losing good stuff.

I'm slowly making my way through my last couple of chapters on the first draft, but dying to do my rewrites and edits on the second draft... gonna be so much fun!

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