A while ago, I decided that I should write in the YA category. It happened for many reasons, one of the main ones being because trends seemed to show that those were among some of the most successful.
I once heard that you should read books in the genre in which you write. That was hard for me to hear. I’m not a child and I don’t feel that reading below my level is worthy of me.
But, for the sake of my art, I took a deep breath, setting aside all of the adult books I had purchased and went to the library to check out YA books. Standing in the teenagers section felt silly. Often, I would sneak in, grab the first book which was displayed, and then sneak out, hoping nobody would see me. Other times, I would take my teenaged son in with me as cover.
I don’t know how many YA books I read in the first month, but it was a lot. I found that I could read them much more quickly than I read adult books, sometimes reading a book in an evening. Instead of getting one book at the library, I started picking out two or three because daily trips to the library seemed a bit excessive.
Due to NaNoWriMo taking up such a large chunk of my days (I’m working on my second NaNo book this month) I haven’t made the time to go to the library to check out more YA books. Since I enoy reading before bed, I gleefully dug into my stack of adult books and settled in to read some spy novel.
Oh my goodness! I had forgotten the difference! The sentence structures were longer and much more detailed! The characters were more complicated, often times I had to remind myself which was which. There were a number of intricate storylines which I had to keep straight. Instead of the story being fed to me, I had to work at it, sometimes re-reading a sentence (or paragraph) to make sure I had understood it all.
It confirmed in me that I’m writing in the correct genre. When I started seriously writing, I remember my mother saying something about my sentence structures being too simple. Obviously, it’s what comes naturally to me, and it fits right in with the genre of my choosing.
I guess it just feels good to know that I made the right choice.