One of the teachers from my writing residency pulled me aside during break.“Have you ever thought about marketing your book as young adult? You’ve read the Hunger Games, right? Adults read them too. And how do you feel about making it a series?”
“Well, I’ve never actually thought about that.” I sort of stuttered and nodded through the rest of our conversation but inside my mind was already racing with the new possibilities.
When I went to my writing residency I was already writing a book about a young woman who found herself transported into the past. This book was going to be a standalone and I hadn’t planned on it being for young adults. Note that both my main characters were teens. Ha!
On the drive home I started thinking through his suggestions. I liked the Hunger Games books. I liked them a lot. Maybe writing young adult books would be the way to go. Come to think of it, I owned quite a few young adult books. Was there a reason I hadn’t thought of this before?
At this point I started getting distracted by depressing thoughts about the residency being over and having to leave all my new writer friends. It was nice and pitiful but after filling up my travel mug with some more coffee, another question popped into my head. How could my book be made into a series? Believe it or not, a solution presented itself pretty fast. What if instead of being transported into the past, she found herself transported to another world? There was an epic adventure somewhere in there. Of course, I had months and (Cough) years of building on this “Simple” solution.
I took another swig of my gas station coffee and grabbed my conference notebook. Before long I had pages and pages of “What if” questions. During the course of the next year, those “What if” questions turned my book into four and created worlds and new characters and plot twists I never would have imagined before.
It’s been a long journey but it’s also been a pretty amazing one and it all started with those two suggestions. I guess I could have titled this post, “The Importance of Writer’s Conferences.” 🙂 I highly recommend Realm Makers. I went last year and it was amazing.
So, how did you start writing your book or series? Was there a “Wow” moment where things suddenly fell into place? Were you inspired by a conversation, a picture, or even a dream?