SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

Struggling with what genre my book should be - thoughts?

Discussion started on

Member.
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region florida
Hi.  I have been struggling with my MG novel.  Not literally writing it.   I wasn't sure why I was struggling or what I was struggling with, but now I think I do.  Originally, I was going for picture book.  Then, I transformed to early reader/early chapter.  I felt too constrained by PB for my concept.  One person heard an earlier version of my early chapter in a critique and said it sounds more full on novel.  So, I went novel.

Here's the issues I am struggling with if my book is a full on MG novel:

(1) An important part of my book (to me) are travel photos my protagonist shares.  In a MG novel, those would not be illustrated.  They'd have to be imagined and described, which is not what I had envisioned. In books like the following, illustrations are still part of the story.  The illos compliment the text, but the text tells the story: Flat Stanley (http://www.flatstanley.com/books) and My Weird School Daze (http://www.dangutman.com/pages/books.html) and Junie B. Jones (http://www.juniebjones.com/books/)  I keep going back to these types of books in the library as opposed to the novels.  I think I could reach and entertain kids through this MG format maybe better than a novel given my concept. 

(2) I am aiming for a series.  Each of those books with illos that I listed is a series.  Of course a series (or even one book) is not guaranteed publication.  But, I could - I think - write the concept and substance of my booksmore prolifically than a novel.  So, I could write more of them in my lifetime, thereby sending out more experiences to kids.

(3) If I write the first book as a novel and I am fortunate enough to be in your shoes at some point, could I ever transform the book into a lower level book or have to keep the series all full on novels.

So, that's what I am grappling with.  I would be grateful to know your thoughts and experiences with my issues? 

Thank you.
#1 - October 04, 2012, 04:38 PM
http://www.linkedin.com/in/debragetts
Crazy Travel Adventures By Debra: http://crazytraveladventures.blogspot.com/
On Twitter: @DebraGetts

Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region sfnortheastbay
Some MG are illustrated, and some have photographs. This isn't so much the issue.

You are focused on the series idea, which can be for any age group. But it may be more conventional to think of such for chapter books. They are also illustrated and often in series.
But none of this is  germane. I would think the concept, length, age of protagonist and general level of appropriateness (in terms of interest and relate-ability) are the pivotal areas that will determine where the story falls.

And it may not fit easily into established categories. From all you say, seems acquiring a good agent who will be you ally will clarify it.
 :goodluck
#2 - October 04, 2012, 05:41 PM
« Last Edit: October 04, 2012, 05:49 PM by 217mom »
THE VOICE OF THUNDER, WiDo Publishing Aug 2012
THERE'S A TURKEY AT THE DOOR, Hometown520 July 2011

www.mirkabreen.com
http://mirkabreen.BlogSpot.com

Emeritus
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region newengland
Check out Ruth McNally Barshaw's Ellie McDoodle series, and our own Greg Fishbone's Septina Nash and the Penguins of Doom for more illustrated MG books.

Before worrying about a series or rewrites of your books into other reading levels, make sure your first book is totally awesome...it's that first book that will pave the way for others.
#3 - October 04, 2012, 05:59 PM
The Leland Sisters series: Courtship and Curses, Bewitching Season, Betraying Season (Holt BYR/Macmillan)
www.marissadoyle.com
www.nineteenteen.com

Member.
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region florida
Thank you for these helpful thoughts.
#4 - October 05, 2012, 05:57 PM
http://www.linkedin.com/in/debragetts
Crazy Travel Adventures By Debra: http://crazytraveladventures.blogspot.com/
On Twitter: @DebraGetts

Members:

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.