After finishing my YA historical, I had the pleasure of digging around in my desk of goodies, (book ideas, partially filled notebooks w/ characters, short stories, etc.) and selecting my next wip.
It was like being five again and plopped down in the middle of a candy store! Forget getting my mind off of writing and doing something fun, give me something else to write! I went with an idea that had been brewing for about a month, instead of using anything already started in my files.
I thought it might be interesting to kick around a few topics, themes, and subjects hot in the YA / MG genres. Sometimes fellow writers need ideas to get the engine humming.
Here are a few to start:
-Paranormal (anything other than vampires...maybe ghosts, fun & scary)
-Edgy subjects i.e. shoplifting, drug / drinking issues, peer pressure
-Thriller sleuth mysteries, suspense
Anyone else have good ideas?
I'm so glad that I'm on target with the music aspect (my opening scene is of my MC dancing at a recital to electronica - should I tell the reader that it's Deadmau5?). Though my book has two ghosts in it, so I wonder if I've missed the mark totally. I didn't set out to conquer a trend, it's just something that's always fascinated me and finally decided to tackle the entity ;)
I agree that romance is heavy in YA books but I also have to say that girls still like reading it. I've read so many books but you'll never find me rolling my eyes when there's a romantic interest. Hopefully, there's still plenty of people like that because my book is romance too.
I'm five chapters into another book that's also ghostly but the romance doesn't appear until way into it. I'm wondering if I should even continue with it. But, speaking of the other book, I outlined this time and structurally it is going to run a lot smoother, but emotionally I feel stifled and I'm afraid it's going to show. I'm beginning to wonder if I should totally forget the outline and write away, then fix the structure after it's done...what I had to do with my first book.
Any of you have the same gripe with outlining?
Lisa, I personally love ghost stories. There are multitudes of ways to spin stories, whether it be paranormal, fantasy, etc. I do feel some aspects of those genres are saturated at the moment, but who's to say that yours won't be something different. Vampires have come in and out of popularity for years now. I think that goes the same for most subjects, don't you?
I started a novel a few months back about zombies. I thought I had a totally different idea with mine, and I still think I do, but the sudden out pour of zombie books halted me in my tracks. I've filed the first four chapters away for now. Maybe I'll break it out later, years later! lol.
I enjoy reading paranormal, but I also enjoy great chick lit, too. I love strong, female characters with lots at stake. I want them flawed, like normal people, not some fairy tale princess. I want to see them succeed in the end, even if they've lost along the way. I love a character that lingers in my mind weeks, months after I've put it down. I want storytelling that never ends.
That's the book I want to write!
Lisa, I missed your question all together the first time reading your post. Sorry! Where as I've read in many YA novels the mention of bands, name brands, etc., I've also been instructed by an editor to be careful with the mention of "pop culture" in writing. It's said to "date" the book. "Timeless pop culture" such as Elvis or The Beatles, where everyone young and old either know or have heard about them is okay though.
With that being said, I think as the author, you have to decide how you reference the band or artist within your story. Ultimately, it'll be up to an Editor and you whether it works for your story.
This is such an interesting discussion! I've currently moved from tween books into a YA paranomal ....
This is the bit I'm struggling with! It's not a romance as my focus is on the friendship between the protagonists and the love sub-plot is between my paranormal protagonist and her non-paranormal best friend and very much a slow-burner rather than a fated-to-be-together paranormal romance. I guess the closest comparison would be Charmed for teenagers - they're not witches, but are 'good' paranormals (with human fallibility) fighting other paranormal threats.
I've been trying to pin down how to describe the category - paranormal adventure doesn't sound right, but something along those lines. I'd really appreciate any ideas!