Writing Different But The Same
Since writing my adult suspense book with elements of another world, A Human Element, I wrote a middle grade adventure set on another world. What’s funny is that I didn’t plan for both books to have their foot set on Earth with higher callings to other places. It just sort of happened.
If you are a writer have you challenged yourself to write in a different genre, and then found your fascination with certain themes carry over? I like to imagine intelligent worlds out there. Perhaps some would be hostile, others would not. This is the undercurrent of A Human Element and my middle grade adventure as well. Both worlds I created have a mix of good and bad (and truly horrifying), as we have in our own world. Perhaps another world might not be so different from ours. I like to dream about what’s beyond our world, as the astronomer Carl Sagan inspired us to do. In his novel Contact, his character Dr. Arroway says “The universe is a pretty big place. It’s bigger than anything anyone has ever dreamed of. So, if it’s just us… seems like an awful waste of space. Right?” I believe it.
In challenging myself to write a middle grade novel, it occurred to me that I had already written young voices in my adult novel as I propelled two characters into adulthood. But I took it a step further. I challenged myself to also write in a different point of view–the first person, rather than my comfortable third person. I found out how difficult it is to stay in the mind and view of one person through an entire book. And that of a twelve year old boy! I then realized I already had found my natural young voice in my adult book, A Human Element, as I had fun “growing up” with the characters in it.
Sometimes we read an author because we know what they’ll give us, but sometimes we read an author because we want to be surprised. I like to be surprised. Do you like it when authors please their loyal-fans and continue to write in the same vein? Or do you want them to try new voices, new genres, and new points of view? It’s exciting to be an author today as it’s become more acceptable to write across genres and in different points of view. It also gains you a crossover wider audience.
In writing A Human Element I enjoyed finding my young adult voice through my characters that experience life from other worlds. I enjoyed it so much I went on to write a middle grade adventure fantasy where my characters do the same. But now I have a yearning to write a children’s book grounded in real life here on Earth. I wonder how that will go. I can’t wait to surprise myself–and hopefully, my readers.