The Adventures in Writing Novels for a Variety of Ages & Genres

The Adventures in Writing Novels for a Variety of Ages & Genres

The Adventures in Writing Novels for a Variety of Ages & Genres
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The Adventures in Writing Novels for a Variety of Ages & Genres

Writing can take us anywhere we want to go.

The fun part about writing is that it allows us to explore other worlds. It allows us to study human behavior and the human mind. To get into the minds of our characters and figure out what makes them tick, what keeps them up at night, and what goals they're desperate to achieve and why.

But it gets really fun when we try out other genres and explore new topics.

I write a variety of genres for nearly the full spectrum of age groups, from middle-grade fiction for ages 9 to 12 to young adult for teenagers (and other YA fans) to adult fiction. And from literary and contemporary coming-of-age stories to speculative science fiction and psychological thrillers. When I started writing as a kid, naturally I wrote about kids and I always thought I'd write for children and teenagers. But then I reached my late twenties and decided I had enough knowledge and life experiences under my belt to write thrillers and mysteries for adults. Unfortunately, those adult novels never saw the light of day. However, over the next couple of years, I'm planning to work on editing those stories and getting them published for the world to see.

Earlier this year, after setting aside a young adult thriller series, I wrote a literary coming-of-age novel about a young boy who spends his summer on his aunt and uncle's chicken farm. And lately I've been writing young adult speculative thrillers. I'm really excited about the characters and stories that are dying to come out. It seems once I started brainstorming ideas for the first stories, more and more ideas came about. Now it's just a matter of which ones do I focus on first. It gets so hard to choose!

One of the reasons I love writing different genres for different ages is that my interests reach far and wide. I love variety. Not only do I enjoy stories like The Bridge to Terabithia and The Black Stallion, but I also enjoy ones like The Hunger Games, Burned, and anything written by Phillip Margolin, John Lescroart, and Linwood Barclay.

The more places we explore in our writing, the more fun we'll have. We'll be learning new things and trying out new techniques. And over time, our writing skills will improve because we're exposing ourselves to a wider spectrum of writing. Not to mention, we never know what piece of information we'll stumble upon which will be the starting point (or a crucial piece) for our next story. That, to me, is the greatest adventure: seeing where a simple starting point takes us in our writing career.

Jody Calkins
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