Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Story vs. Market--The YA Way

Ever heard of the SATs? *shudders*

Well, the awesome writers at YA Highway created the first ever YASAT. It's got hilarious questions regarding YA fiction, especially paranormal romances. If you're an aspiring author in the genre, or an avid reader, I implore you to check it out: http://www.yahighway.com/2010/04/official-yasat-practice-test.html

The YASAT got me thinking about a couple things, but mostly this: story vs. market. Do you think YA authors write stories that follow a pattern because they like it as readers themselves? Or do you think that they're trying to appeal to a broader audience by injecting their books with something that's already been done?

I wholeheartedly believe that no one should write something they don't feel comfortable with. Sure, it's okay if writers want to challenge themselves with a genre out of their comfort zone, but don't do it just because it's what sells. Do it because that story brewing in your brain makes you want to jump, squeal with joy, and work hard so you can share it with the world. Do it because no other story seems like the right one to tell. And hey, if the cash flows after you type The End, so be it--that's just a stop on the road, not the destination.

Just remember: don't make your badass supernatural creature fall for an insecure wimpyface!

Their words, not mine ;)

What influences the way you write? Is it the story you're dying to tell, or the market you wish to be a part of?


  1. I actually went off-market a little and ended up finding a story I really wanted to write. I thought I was being clever, not going the UF route. It didn't matter though--I had to write this story anyway!

  2. The story I wanted to tell evolved itself, although I knew it was going to be YA because my MC voice told me her age. Great link too, gonna check it out now:)

  3. Ooooh

    As I'm trying to hone in my short story writing skills (Or lack of!!) I think for me it's the story I want to tell fitting the market, e.g. one that would fit a women's weekly mag - but one where I could let my romantic and happy ever after soppy side rule!

    Something like that! LOL!

    I guess it doesn't harm to know the current trends in the genre you want to write in.

    Take care

  4. Probably both. But I would say I lean very, very heavily on the story that I am just bursting to tell. No matter what anyone else thinks :)

  5. I don't think about the market I'm writing for until I have a few chapters and have a feel for what I'm writing. But I always stick with my passion and not what is currently popular (which could be why I'm getting so many rejections) but HEY! the market is always evolving and if something is not popular now it will be later and I can requery then. But things are just 100X better when they are an expression of you than if they are an expression of a generic society. Afterall, would life be as great if everyone was just like you or looked exactly like you? No. Probably not. People like unique things. Unique people and ideas are like shiny objects, very appealing!

  6. I'm lucky, because my passion for writing are love/romance stories with a paranormal twist. It's HUGE right now, so I get to hopefully break into the business writing stories that I love, that happen to be selling huge right now.

    Only thing I worry about is the way there ARE a good deal of writers that write to a trend, and over-saturation can tire a fan base out. It makes me sad what people are starting to say about vampire stories. :o(

  7. I think, honestly, that it's a little bit of both. Of course, I don't think I could write a book that I wasn't wholly passionate about. But market does play into what I think about writing about. There's no point in writing a book my agent can't sell, you know?

  8. I'm so glad I brought the subject up this week! All this feedback really makes me see the bigger picture: in the end, write what you love, but also think about its sales potential. If you're trying to break into a certain market, follow the rules and break them at the same time.

    Just remember to never compromise until you're happy with what you've written, for yourself and for other readers. I guess that's the most important part of the writing process :D

  9. I've done both, but what I've found is the work I love to write the most is the work others enjoy reading. So, yeah, write what you love.