Working on New Stuff: Weirdness

It’s weird to be working on something outside my comfort zone.

Novels for adults=Fine. I can handle that. So far I’ve finished two first drafts. I could put in as many curse words, as much violence, as much sex as I wanted.

But it’s so weird writing something geared toward a younger crowd (my guesstimation puts it at around 8ish-12ish years old, the middle readers, before teen angst hits them really hard and all they want to read about is curse words, violence, and sex).

The story is good. I’m diggin the story. I like my characters and I really like the fact that more characters jumped out almost immediately–surprising me with their importance to the ‘simple’ story I thought I was telling.

My only real issue is shutting off the “Editor” brain. There’s a part of me saying “Ooooo, gotta watch it…kids are going to be reading this.” I have to remember that J.K. Rowling totally earned the word “bitch” and that was geared toward a younger crowd (argue at will…). And I was recently surprised by another word on the first page of The Higher Power of Lucky, this last year’s Newbery Award winner: scrotum. Who knew?

Has anyone jumped outside their ‘comfort zone’ before and found it really odd? Not bad, necessarily, just…weird?

J.K.Rowling Writing Problems Writing Thoughts

jenny maloney View All →

Jenny writes dark fiction that her mother hates. Her stories and essays have appeared in Across the Margin, Pantheon, Shimmer, Black Denim Lit, Skive, and others. When she’s not writing her own stuff, she’s reading mysteries for Criminal Element. When she’s not writing fiction or reviews, she’s writing/directing/performing/designing plays at Springs Ensemble Theatre.

4 Comments Leave a comment

  1. When I went from adult to YA, it was weird at first. It felt almost like I was walking into the woods, past that little sign that says ‘stay on the path.’ I really enjoyed doing something new and fresh, though. Plus the required reading allows you to be a kid again. Great to hear you’re writing middle-grade, can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  2. Maybe your youngsters are just foul mouthed. However, if word choice is your biggest problem… You’re shifting gears, it’s weird. I get it. If curse words are slowing you down, I say just write the bastards in. Edit them out later. That way they’re not a sticking point, but you always know that they’re not permanent, either.Weird = writing something “funny.” I have to think harder about things that are evenly mildly comedic than I have to with things that are, say, more about dead critters.

  3. Eh, throw in what you want. You know us too well to believe we won’t let you know if we think it’s too much for the age group.I love reading that spark of excitement when a Pirate commandeers a new genre or even just a new story in the same genre. Inspiring. Can’t wait to read this one!

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