Does what you write next matter?
I have one novel under my belt. It’s a fairly dark YA historical fantasy, and I am happy to say it is officially done, complete, ended, no mas, finite incantatem. (Yes, I actually Googled that last one to make sure I spelled it correctly. Geek x 2). So now it’s time to move on and start writing something else. But what?
Initially, way back before I had any industry knowledge, I figured my second book would be the sequel to the first, but now I realize that’s not such a great idea. Who knows if #1 will ever find a home, and if it does, it almost certainly will undergo editorial changes that very well could affect everything I do in a sequel. Why put myself through having to do a complete rewrite, or writing a novel for no reason whatsoever? No thanks.
So let’s meet the other contenders bouncing around in my mind.
- A super-serious, edgy, contemporary YA “issue book”
- A light-hearted, humorous, contemporary YA romantic comedy
- A fast-paced YA thriller with magical realism elements that might even work better as an historical
Option 3 seems the obvious answer, doesn’t it? After all, I’ve heard the warnings against genre hopping
. But then I stumbled across this fabulous YA Highway post
, and I have to say I agree (in theory). One of the things I love most about YA readers is how eclectic we are. We finish a paranormal to pick up a contemporary to move onto a dystopian. Heck, the last book I read was the first in the Gallagher Girls
series and now I’m reading Folly
. Can these two be any different?
But (and this is a big BUT in my opinion), most YA writers who have successfully genre hopped have already been established when they did so, with several published books under their belts. Me, I’m just starting out on this journey. Does that matter? Let’s enter fantasyland and pretend I choose to write that YA romantic comedy (which is as diametrically different from my historical fantasy as you can get), and it sells. Did I, fledgling newbie writer, just dramatically slash the chances of the historical fantasy making it? If I love the historical fantasy and believe in it with all of my heart, should I specifically tailor what I write next to be a good fit? Am I way overthinking this?
This post is a lot of questions and not many answers, I’m sorry. This has been something I’ve been really thinking about for the past few weeks and I’m still not sure of the answer, so I would love your input.
Does what you write next matter? Is genre hopping within YA a smart move?