I should like to think of myself as a writer. I've never finished a novel, but I have written some short stories; so does that count? I'm not much of a writer, but I can write and I enjoy it. (There is just something about "playing with words" that is so much fun; but it can also be downright frustrating too!)
Anyway, this morning, during that time when I seem to do my most of my profound thinking, (aka when I should be reading my Bible), I got this idea for a post...but I need my readers help. I'm trying to get a feel for what kinds of fiction books young people (from the elementary to the young adult catagory) like to read...and why. The second part of the question may be harder. Why does a particular genre draw you in? (This is where it could get philosophical.) Even if you don't classify in that "young peoples" category exactly, you probably know some of them. What do they read? (Biographies and histories can be added to, but the main focus is the discover the type of fictious literature that kids and young adults read.)
I made a list of ten (sometimes overlapping) genres that I'll put up here (along with some commentary on why I like this one and don't like that one and if I want to write along these lines or don't or can't along others).
Okay, here goes:
1) Historical Fiction
This is a broad field. It can include these other genres within it: Romance, Adventure, Mystery, Thriller, Westerns. This is one of my favorite genres and the one I'm most
eager to write. (Obviously, both of my unfinished novels classify in this genre.)
In this particular genre, which era and/or time period is the most interesting?
This frequently is historical fiction, so I won't say over much here, other than
adventureous historical fiction (like swashbuckling tales) is by far one of my most
I have read very, very little science fiction. It's definitely not up there on my "faves" list. I have little to no inclination to write it. [For further discusison, see below.]
If it's something along the lines of old time fairly tales or the Lord of the Rings, I like it. I might be interested in trying my hand at writing some someday. [For further discussion, see below.]
Until last year, I didn't even know what that was. I have never read any and really have no desire to. [I guess that means I haven't much inclination to write it either.]
I love a good mystery (most particularly those written by British authors such as Agatha Christie and Ellis Peters). I don't feel "smart" enough to even try writing
Is this more a film category? I'm not sure, but as far as I am aware of I have not read anything that would classify in this category.
A species of historical fiction and/or adventure, I have read a couple...one of my
novels actually started out a Western, but for reasons of my own got switched to
being an "Eastern", so yes, I would write westerns.
As such, unless you count Jane Austen's works, I have not read any. I do like a little
'romance' in the stories I read (depending on circumstances), but even then, I don't
want that to be the main focus. It's probably pretty obvious that I don't intend on
writing anything that falls strictly into this category.
10) Animal Stories
Um, no. For the most part. I never liked them as a kid. I don't want to write them.
(These would most likely fall in the more elementary reading levels anyway.)
Further Discussion on Science-Fiction and Fantasy
First, let's look at Sci-fi. Like I said, I've done very little reading in this category. I'd probbaly say that C.S. Lewis' trilogy (can't remember what it's called at the moment), is probably the closeset thing I've read to actual sci-fi. It was weird...but that's beside the point. I have noticed that a largish number of young, Christian, homeschooled writers write sci-fi. Why? I don't know. It just makes me wonder a little bit, rather incoherently about a 'something' that I can't put my finger on exactly...
Second, and a little more coherently, fantasy. I have read some (very little) modern fantasy and for the most part it is very autonomous and feministic. It's unsettling. Also, the fantasy stuff that, once again, the young, Christian, homeschooled kids are writing, from the little I have read, seems to be so very dark...oppressive. I recall one story that I started (and never finished because I couldn't find it again), that left me feeling depressed and distraught. Why are Christians writing dark fantasy?
That isn't to say that there isn't a place for evil in your stories--you have to have good and evil. But to write something that leaves a feeling of dispair over your reader?
Anyway, I'd much appreciate your input on this subject. What do you (or your kids or grandkids) read? Why do you (or they) like the particular genre(s) they are drawn to?
Call this research if you like, but I'm just curious...
Mysteries (once again, not any and all)--I have yet to guess "whodunnit". That's part of the appeal. Trying to use one's brain to figure out who did it, to keep track of the clues, to 'read' the characters, to guess the motive, etc.