Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Writer Wednesday: Switching Age Levels


When I first started writing, I was convinced middle grade was the age level for me. I wrote two MG (middle grade) books and loved it. Then I went to a conference and listened to a panel of authors who primarily wrote picture books and thought maybe I should give that a try since I was constantly reading them to my daughter at the time. After that a YA (young adult) idea came to me. And years later, I got an idea that was clearly NA (new adult). 

As you can see, I love all age groups. Writing across age groups has allowed me to branch out with my creativity, which I love. But it's also tricky. I'm revising one of my MG novels right now and my brain is stuck in YA mode. For a little while I wondered why, but I realized it's because I was reading two YA novels while revising my MG. There was my problem. In order to revise my MG, I need to be reading MG. That grounds me in the voice I need for that age level.

So, I'm scouring my MG books and diving into one this week while I revise. Am I the only one who does this, or do you read the age level you are currently writing?

*I may be a little MIA for a few days because we had a major complication with our addition and I have to leave my house yet again. I'll check in as often as I can but it won't be as much as usual. Miss you all.*

32 comments:

  1. I read age and genre currently writing.

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  2. I read the age and genre I'm writing for as much as possible so I don't mess it up lol.

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  3. Awe, we will miss you, too, Kelly! I hope everything works out. Additions (well, any construction) can be a real pain in the butt!
    Whenever I am working on a specific genre, I tend to read books listed in the same category. And for my novel, I even watched a ton of Law and Order episodes as well as abduction movies. It's always good to sharpen our skills as well as our mindset=)

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    1. Yes, TV can also help keep you in the right mindset. Great point!

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  4. Actually, I find the reverse is true. I like to read something for a different age group while I'm writing. Especially if I'm stuck or having trouble. Nothing makes me madder when I'm stuck on my MG than reading a MG book that's perfect! LOL! So I'll read YA or Adult, preferably in a different genre.

    That said, after doing my editorial revision work on The Caged Graves (historical YA) and returning to my first draft of The Eighth Day (fantasy MG), my critique partners complained that Jax was starting to talk like Verity! So, it's my own writing that messes with my voice, not other people's!

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    1. I never thought of it that was, but that can be frustrating. lol I know what you mean about going from one book to the next and not confusing your characters' voices. It's tough.

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  5. I like to write in the upper MG genre, but I'm also writing PBs and have a YA novel in the wings. I read everything from all genres. But when I am worried about voice, I people watch at the libary. Listening to the kids helps me get my voice back where it should be.

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  6. I tend to write and read in the same age level.

    Hopefully the construction issues get sorted out quickly for you.

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  7. My characters are usually around my age or older. Though I read YA, I stick mostly to books with characters in the mid-twenties and up. But, I find reading YA helps my novels a lot because some of my characters act like children.

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  8. I love how you're creatively able to cross age brackets. It's not an easy feat and you do with such ease. Love that! But I know what you mean about what you're reading influencing what you're writing. It happens to me all the time!

    P.S. Hope they straighten out the addition lickety split for you!

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  9. I've never written any books outside of the adult level. I can imagine it's a challenge

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  10. I don't think I could ever write YA. I'm too far removed and it would be a great challenge for me. When I write, I like to feel free and not question myself. Same with younger groups. I'd be too afraid that I'd write something inappropriate to that age group and get myself blasted by the public.

    Sorry you had to leave home again. How frustrating for you!

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    1. I think there's a lot in YA that is mature for the age, but kids grow up quicker these days.

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  11. Good luck with the addition complication! Hope it isn't too bad.

    I agree with you that it helps me to read the genre I am currently writing/editing. Though- so far I haven't written across as many genres as you have! You are amazing. :)

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  12. I hope they get your house problems corrected soon. That has to be frustrating. I like to read MG books while I'm working on my MG. They remind me how this age thinks and acts. I also read YA if I'm reviewing for someone. :)

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    1. Thank you, Beverly. It's been a challenge.

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  13. Oh jeez! I hope you're okay! I never thought of that, actually--reading the same age group as I'm writing. Good idea. I just kind of read a bunch of things at the same time. But I've definitely picked up specific books for inspiration when I need it!

    It's cool you write so many age groups, too :) I think it helps keep the ideas fresh and doesn't limit what you can write about.

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    1. It does help keep the ideas fresh. Definitely.

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  14. L like writing for different age levels, and if you have a talent for it, why not!?

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  15. I often get confused when writing for children (MG) yet while reading adult fiction.

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  16. Oh, I hope everything with your addition gets sorted out!

    Yes, I think it definitely helps to read the level you're writing.

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