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?