Monday, March 17, 2014

GROWING AS A YA WRITER BY WRITING MG - HOLLY SCHINDLER



I didn’t think about my first couple of novels, A BLUE SO DARK or PLAYING HURT, being used in a classroom.  At all.  And it probably shows—in A BLUE SO DARK, there’s plenty of swearing and a few passing drug references, and in PLAYING HURT, we’ve got quite a few titillating scenes—one of which culminates in the protagonist losing her virginity.

My first MG, THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY, released last month, and I’m learning just how valuable teachers are.  The book has been read aloud in several classrooms; I’ve got Skype visits lined up to talk to the students who devoted class time to Auggie’s story.  

It’s made me think differently about a YA’s place in the classroom.  FERAL, my next YA, was actually written before this revelation.  But I can’t wait to see how it’ll shape future YA work.  

It’s amazing, really, how writing in one genre can help hone your skills in another genre.  Anyone else out there grow as a YA writer by writing non-YA work?

3 comments:

  1. No, but I've grown as a fiction writer by writing nonfiction, and vice versa!

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    1. How cool! I wonder if writing non-fiction would push me to be 100% accurate to a story's location. Hmmmm...

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  2. So terrific about your MG! It's hard to walk the line between writing what we want but also keeping in our heads what's good for the classroom.

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