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Thread: All Things Middle Grade

  1. #2476
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin jlmott's Avatar
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    I've been skimming through the MG thread, and don't know if this point has been touched on yet. I've written 3 MG novels so far (none published though I am exploring the waters for the third one), starting a fourth, and I find that none of them are really related to each other. That is, they could not be bundled up into a single genre. The first is an cute anthropomorphic story, the second an adventure set in 19 century Italy, the third a silly comic sci-fi, and the current one more a gothic horror. Now I write these because they happen to be the ideas that pop in my head. As someone who getting ready to seriously enter the choppy waters of publishing (unlike the awkward floundering I've been doing up till now) is there an expectation of a new writer that they be identified with a particular genre or type of story? This concerns me sometimes, because I hope, assuming I make any headway, to have some freedom to write what I want to write. It's possible I am getting way ahead on myself at this point, but I was curious.

  2. #2477
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Cariad's Avatar
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    Interesting article for new authors in the Guardian, if anyone's interested: Top writing tips for new children's authors from top editors

    Quote Originally Posted by jlmott View Post
    I've been skimming through the MG thread, and don't know if this point has been touched on yet. I've written 3 MG novels so far (none published though I am exploring the waters for the third one), starting a fourth, and I find that none of them are really related to each other. That is, they could not be bundled up into a single genre. The first is an cute anthropomorphic story, the second an adventure set in 19 century Italy, the third a silly comic sci-fi, and the current one more a gothic horror. Now I write these because they happen to be the ideas that pop in my head. As someone who getting ready to seriously enter the choppy waters of publishing (unlike the awkward floundering I've been doing up till now) is there an expectation of a new writer that they be identified with a particular genre or type of story? This concerns me sometimes, because I hope, assuming I make any headway, to have some freedom to write what I want to write. It's possible I am getting way ahead on myself at this point, but I was curious.
    Hi! Sounds like you're in a similar boat to me, so I can only offer you my opinion, but it seems like what you're describing is what happens when someone's learning any craft: you try everything, see what you're good at, and eventually narrow it down to a type or genre you're confident you can sell, much like painters or sculptors do. The only time I have heard of someone writing like that was when I was given some information way back when about a 'hot-housing' company that takes proven writers on to write individual books in a series about, say, fairies or dragons or vampires etc.

    Do you perhaps have a central character/world that runs through them all?
    Which one do you think is your strongest?
    * tempus fugit, semper amici *

  3. #2478
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin jlmott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cariad View Post
    Interesting article for new authors in the Guardian, if anyone's interested: Top writing tips for new children's authors from top editors



    Hi! Sounds like you're in a similar boat to me, so I can only offer you my opinion, but it seems like what you're describing is what happens when someone's learning any craft: you try everything, see what you're good at, and eventually narrow it down to a type or genre you're confident you can sell, much like painters or sculptors do. The only time I have heard of someone writing like that was when I was given some information way back when about a 'hot-housing' company that takes proven writers on to write individual books in a series about, say, fairies or dragons or vampires etc.

    Do you perhaps have a central character/world that runs through them all?
    Which one do you think is your strongest?
    There isn't a central character that runs through any of them, and the worlds described in each are unique to themselves and do not overlap. As for which is the strongest, I think the sci-fi comedy is the most commercially viable, and it is the one I plan to submit to agents as soon as I can get the query letter I've been working on just right (which may take as long as writing the novel!).

    Don't get me wrong. I love the book and hope to have the chance to write many more like it. I just don't want to be stuck writing only that. Now there are authors who can explore a single world and find endless variations within it. The Discworld novels are an exemplar example of that. But I'm no Terry Pratchett (now there's an understatement).

    Of course, fretting about being stuck publishing books in a similar vein is a little rich considering how very unpublished I am, but it's my nature to fret about things past, present and future.

  4. #2479
    practical experience, FTW heza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cariad View Post
    Interesting article for new authors in the Guardian, if anyone's interested: Top writing tips for new children's authors from top editors

    Thanks for the link. I found it interesting.

    But choose your editor carefully. We’re like a strange breed of midwife who come and live with you and are often there at the conception, the delivery and through a lot of the nurture. So you have to get on with your editor. You have to like them, respect them and trust them. And if you don’t then you need to look for another one.
    For people who've published (or just know), do you get to pick your editor? I had gotten the impression that once you sign with a publisher, you're assigned an editor and don't have much say in it.... or do they mean that you need to take into account who your editor will be when deciding whether to sign with a publisher?
    WIPs

    Untitled <-- Supernatural MG (drafting)
    Tobias Tinker <-- Clockpunk MG (on hold)
    Freak Town <-- Paranormal YA (on hold)
    Huntington House <-- Paranormal YA (on hold)




  5. #2480
    figuring it all out
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    Hello, I have recently written 2 MG novels and am working on YA novel right now. I am going to be looking through this thread to see what other MG writers have going on. I am very excited to be part of this forum.

  6. #2481
    New fish; Swimming with the current Supergirlofnc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jenndoss View Post
    Hello, I have recently written 2 MG novels and am working on YA novel right now. I am going to be looking through this thread to see what other MG writers have going on. I am very excited to be part of this forum.
    Hi jenn - It's great to meet you! I think this is a great forum with great MG people. Welcome!
    Last edited by Supergirlofnc; 07-18-2015 at 07:26 AM.

  7. #2482
    practical experience, FTW Shandylous's Avatar
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    Hi, Jenn! Always nice to meet fellow MG writers.

  8. #2483
    practical experience, FTW SheilaJG's Avatar
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    Hi heza, In answer to your question about whether writers pick their editors, I can answer from my experience. For me, my agent submitted my book to the editors she thought would be interested in it. I got two offers, so in that respect, I got to decide which of those two publishers/editors I wanted to work with. My editor left her job after all the heavy work was done on my first book, and my publisher assigned me to another editor for book 2 in my series (and now, books 3 and 4).
    something

    Represented by Molly Ker Hawn of The Bent Agency
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  9. #2484
    practical experience, FTW heza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SheilaJG View Post
    Hi heza, In answer to your question about whether writers pick their editors, I can answer from my experience. For me, my agent submitted my book to the editors she thought would be interested in it. I got two offers, so in that respect, I got to decide which of those two publishers/editors I wanted to work with. My editor left her job after all the heavy work was done on my first book, and my publisher assigned me to another editor for book 2 in my series (and now, books 3 and 4).
    Thanks, Sheila! That's pretty much what I figured. Thanks for confirming it.

    (Gave my niece a copy of your book, btw. She loved, loved, loved it. My brother-in-law said they couldn't bother her while she was reading it because she was verysrs about it. She's telling friends about it, now.)
    WIPs

    Untitled <-- Supernatural MG (drafting)
    Tobias Tinker <-- Clockpunk MG (on hold)
    Freak Town <-- Paranormal YA (on hold)
    Huntington House <-- Paranormal YA (on hold)




  10. #2485
    practical experience, FTW SheilaJG's Avatar
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    Aww, thanks heza! That just made my day!
    something

    Represented by Molly Ker Hawn of The Bent Agency
    Twitter

  11. #2486
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Thanks Cariad, that was a great article.

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