Monday, December 7, 2009

A Story Just For ?

My girls have asked me several times to write a YA story. They even offer suggested story lines--very bare bones story lines, mind you, that I have no idea how to build a whole novel from, but their eagerness exhilarates me for sure.

So would you attempt to write a story outside your chosen genre if your teen asked you to? Would you ponder doing so for more than a moment's passing?

So far I keep putting the task off, but the seed of a YA story has been drawing in nutrients for a while and I'm now debating if I should let it have some sunlight in January as my next new project. Seriously, would you devote a couple months minimum to tackle a story for your children? Or would you leave it to the pros who actually know how to write in that genre and keep honing the craft with story writing you know best?


Surrendering to Him,

Eileen


18 Days until we widely celebrate Jesus's Birthday on Christmas Day around the World!

42 comments:

Tamika: said...

If the story is already pricking you- I say give it a whirl! You never know what will happen.

Tabitha Bird said...

Give it a go. A writer is a writer. Crossing genre is like cross training for athletes. It is good for the sport you usually play. It will hone your skill in different ways. I write across about three genres (is poetry a genre?) Memoir, fiction and children's books. You'll get a feel for which suits you better, but you might find it is not which one you thought it would be

Rebecca Nazar said...

Follow your instincts. YA fiction can be tough. I wrote a short story for kids in the 6-12 range, challenging and fun. Would I do it again? Probably at some point, but it's not my "thing".

Remember you can always write a short story, markets are out there.

Jody Hedlund said...

Eileen,

In your situation, while you're waiting to hear from agents and editors, I'd definitely go ahead and write it. You may not have the time later once you're contracted. So now would seem like the perfect time to write something for them! And who knows what God may bring of it?

Jessica said...

I probably wouldn't just because my kids wanted me too, but if there was also the prickle of interest and I had the time, then I might. :-)

sherrinda said...

I think if my daughter asked me to write for her, I would! Especially if I had an idea and was even mildly thrilled about it! Who knows what it would open up for you!

Katie Ganshert said...

I've thought about this. When Brogan gets older. Or for my students. They know I write, and they often ask if they can read my stories and why don't I write one for them. Not sure if I have it in my though. It would end up being a fantasy-adventure romance, I'm sure. :)

If I did take the time, I don't think any part of me would regret that time. I say, if the seeds are planting themselves, you should go for it! :)

Terri Tiffany said...

If I had the time, inbetween what i really love to write, I would give it a shot. You never know!

√čarwen said...

As long as it was fiction, I would.
I'm a YA writer, but I would write an adult or children's novel if someone asked me to.

Jennifer Shirk said...

I wouldn't close off the idea. I'd think about it some more. You never know where a hidden talent might be.

Sarah Forgrave said...

It all depends on the idea, the timing, whether I feel like it's a prompting from God or not. Christian YA books made a huge impact on my life when I was a teenager, so I'd be thrilled if God wanted me to pursue that avenue.

Anna said...

It's so funny that you say this, because I've a similar idea brewing for January, a YA novel that would be a completely new direction for me.

This came more due to the idea, and I'm thinking characters and plot at the moment.

Go for it!! You never know...

Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought said...

YA seems like a whole other ball field from what I write. I'd want to research more about it and understand more about the new genre. I'm willing to try anything, but I've learned it helps to study specifics before I jump in entirely.
~ Wendy

Joanne said...

If I were between projects, in the waiting stage, I'd probably give it a whirl. In the meantime, I'd do some heavy YA reading, to get a gist for the format, style, etc, so I would have some background as I went into the project. Best wishes!

Robyn Campbell said...

DO IT!! You never know. God could be calling you to do this through your kids. YA needs more writers who care about children. I write for kids. All ages. Picture books, MG, and YA.

Do this. Any questions? Ask any of us who write for these age groups.

I'll tell you one thing. It's fun and rewarding.

You never know. Until you try it. :)

Natalie said...

I have twin sisters who are 15 and they are always asking me to try YA too. I think I have a story that they'll love and I have started it. I'm still working on my MG too, but I would love to write something they'd enjoy.

Linda Kage said...

I like making my loved-ones happy, so I'd probably tackle the project. They're my biggest fans too, so why not at least attempt it for them. I've been asked before if so-and-so could have THEIR name in one of my books. I'm always suprised to hear they actually WANT that. Makes me feel good they care enough.

REG said...

An artist friend painted a picture that gave me an idea for a children's picture book. I'm mulling over the story now.
Authors cross genres more than I realized.

Georgiana said...

Writing a story solely out of love for your kids shows how kind you really are! I don't think I could do it, but I'm a tightwad when it comes to investments of time. However, what a great gift idea for next year!

Cindy said...

I say go for it! I've written YA before but not for a long time. I know the genre has changed so much but you could definitely end up loving it.

My kids are still pretty young. Mostly they just ask me to tell them stories and I don't really have to have that solid a plot. I did tell my daughter one about an ice princess in a candyland once and she made me write it down. AND illustrate it too :) Oh boy!

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

I think it's different to write for your kids than for a friend. And since you have an idea, I say go for it! Right now I'm just looking at stories in my genre, so when people suggest things to me I just file them away or say something about all the stuff I need to write before I get to that idea!

Robyn Campbell said...

Eileen, I do have some suggestions. You knew I would. :0)

This one is to be read with a teen girl or by yourself. But it is well written, makes you think, and has authentic voice. It could also be used as a teaching tool if read with a teen girl. The poor choices they make, etc. Can't put it down until you're done. Twenty Boy Summer, by Sarah Ockler.

Make Lemonade and True Believer by Virginia Euwer Wolff. Really great reads.

Tangerine by Edward Bloor

Graham Salisbury's The Blue Skin of the Sea.

With a Hammer for my Heart by George Ella Lyon

And you might read this one first. Whirligig, by Paul Fleischman or any book by him. Though this one deals with sensitive subject matter--Seventeen year old Brent kills a teen girl when he was driving drunk. This is a MUST read. Very well written.

The Island, by David Borofka

The Saskiad, by Brian Hall.

If you have any other questions, ask away, my friend. I'll be praying about this. :)

Lily Robinson said...

Just my opinion... God gave you a talent to write. He didn't pick the genre. You did! So go for it! Has there ever been a better reason?

Bethany Wiggins said...

I am trying to write a chapter book for my daughter. I normally do YA an all I can say is Writing chapter books is hard!!!

Susan R. Mills said...

Funny you mention this. My teen daughter is the reason I starte writing YA. She kept complaining that there weren't enough good books for her to read. So, to answer your question, yes I'd switch genres for my teen. I say go for it. I'll tell you this: writing YA is so much fun!

Erica Vetsch said...

I'd encourage you to try it. When you look back twenty years from now, will you regret you leapt out and tried to write YA for your teens, or will you regret more not trying it.

So far, my kids haven't asked me to write YA Fantasy Adventure Dragon stuff.

I'm so very glad.

Patti Lacy said...

Yes, I would, especially if the Holy Spirit nudged along with those precious dimpled hands!!

LOVE, LOVE your heart, girl
Patti

Shmologna said...

Write it for your children to enjoy...and allow God to take it to soaring heights in the public realm.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Eileen -

If it fits into your schedule and you have a good idea, why not? Think how thrilled your kids will be that Mom wrote something for them.

You might find a whole new audience for your work. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Karen Lange said...

I say go for it, especially since you have a few nuggets. You can always set it aside for a bit if you have to. Blessings! :)

quietspirit said...

I agree with the others. It would give you experience in another genre and would allow you to flex your writing muscles. Even if no one else sees it but your daughters, it would be worth the effort.

Laura Frantz said...

Eileen,
I think it would be worth every minute to leave an heirloom like that for your girls. Wish my mom or granny had done that for me! I keep thinking how wildly popular the YA market is. Personally I love Ann Rinaldi's novels and they're all YA. Who knows what could come of it? I believe no writing is ever wasted.

Journaling Woman said...

I say YES! You have the talent and the inspiration. Do it.

Amy DeTrempe said...

I think I would. But, they have to promise to be around so when you get stuck or not sure of something in the story, they can help you through it. Then, when it is done, let them edit. It could be fun.

Heather Sunseri said...

I say, go for it! Especially if you have a story brewing. Maybe even let them help. Write a chapter at a time, then get ideas from them, but throw in surprises too. Make it fun to teach them how hard it is to come up with all the details. Good luck. Let us know what you decide.

LeSan said...

Outside of your selected genre huh? That's what kids are for--to stretch us outside of our selected genre. You should definitely try it. You may learn something about yourself along the way. That's God's sneaky little way of making you grow. What a character that guy! :-)

Amy Tate said...

Why don't you try writing it with the idea of doing it for them regardless of whether or not you ever submit it. That might take some pressure off and free your mind to explore a bit. I know exactly how you feel about this (although I've yet to publish my first novel, lol!) Because I'm feeling as if I'm being pulled into that genre. I wrote mine as MG but have revisions in mind that are more suitable for YA. I've been praying about it for two weeks.

Kelly H-Y said...

I say 'go for it'! Especially if it's been in your thoughts lately!

Susan said...

I would definitely write something outside of my chosen genre - especially if my kids were asking me to. In fact, I think it's a great idea to write a story for your girls - what a great Christmas present for them for next year!

Walt M said...

Just discovered your blog and was checking it out.

If my kids asked me to write a particular type of story, I would try my best. Don't know how well I would do, but I would try my best.

Jenni Saake (a.k.a. InfertilityMom) said...

You never know what God may do unless you give it a try! I say go for it and see where God takes you. It may truly be a story that remains "just for them" and never sees publication (and if so, what a special gift you have given them!) or God may surprise you all with something bigger. Either way, it's a happy ending. :)

Sahil said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.