Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Blog Chain: Genre Mindset

Margie started this round. She asked:

How do you get in the mindset of your genre? Do you research people or facts? Do you just reach into the recesses of your mind for events that would make a good story? Something else?

This isn't something I've ever really thought about so I'm having a hard time coming up with an answer. Bear with me. This might get kind of rambly. :)

Since I started writing, YA has always just felt like the right genre for me. There's a depth of emotion in YA books that I love and you don't really find it much in other genres. And since I'm a pretty emotional person, I guess that's why it feels so natural to me? I don't know. I was even more emotional as a teen (my poor mother), so there's a lot about those years that is still very vivid for me. I'm sure I draw on those memories and feelings a lot as I'm writing, but I don't know that I've ever used it to get into the mindset of my genre. Not intentionally, anyway.

As for the science fiction angle, I've always been fascinated with space and the universe and just science in general. That, combined with my husband's love for comic books--I think I've seen every comic book movie ever made--is probably why all my characters end up with some kind of superpower or ability, and why I keep wanting to put aliens in there, some way, somehow. So I don't know that it's a mindset so much as a compulsion. ;)

I'm pretty sure that didn't answer the question, but my writing process is pretty boring. I just need quiet and a general idea of where I'm headed, and then I sit down and write. Maybe I'm thinking about it too literally?

You all can probably answer it better. How do you get in the mindset of your genre?

Be sure to check out Christine's post from yesterday and Kat's post tomorrow.


  1. That's totally awesome, that comic books (from you husband) has given you inspiration on writing science fiction :) I couldn't think of a harder genre to get into a mindset.

  2. Neat topic! I definitely feel more like I'm a part of the world I'm creating when I do little exercises to flesh out what makes it unique.

    I just take a notebook and write and write and write about things that may not be important to the story (or may not seem important yet) as if I'm Pliny writing the Natural History. (Just call me Dorkus Maximus)

    I try to be precise, clinical, and detail-oriented, which means nothing I write will ever fit, word for word, into my ms. So some people might call it a waste of time, but I think that there are so many undiscovered facts about my worlds, even I don't know them all yet. More often than not, there's a plot in there somewhere!

  3. I always used my dream as my plot....

  4. LOL, this is exactly how I feel thinking about this question. I just hope I can answer it as intelligently as you have. Nice job!

  5. My husband and I are superhero nuts, too ;). We watch the Justic League cartoon show and everything. Love it!

  6. Would you say, Abby, that writing YA has helped you release the emotions that you felt as a teen or were you only able to write after you had released those emotions?

    Interesting post. You've really got me thinking now. :-)

  7. I love comic books and all things superhero related! Maybe it's because I'm a mother of 4 and I'd give anything to have a superpower.

    Great topic!

  8. Love your post! And Love Kat's question...