To Middle-Grade Or Not To Middle-Grade

During this whole great journey of writing, I never gave any serious thought to writing for children. I mean, my favorite genres are fantasy and horror. The type of horror I tend to write does not play well with children. But then I began my classes at Full Sail University, to obtain my Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing, and it opened my eyes to all manner of possibilities. Writing for young adults is challenging for me because its not what I am used to writing. I’m stepping into new territory here. The rewarding part might that I have crafted a cool story that appeals to both young adults and adults alike.

I would have to say that I felt most comfortable writing for Middle-Grade, 4-5th grade, versus writing for an older young adult audience. I think it’s because of the action. This genre requires fiction that is straight to the point, fast paced, and with plenty of action. This particular genre has just the right amount of action and despair that I think I could create something unique here. I just have to tell myself to hold back. I am used to a level of violence on par with a rated R horror film. I think I am going to enjoy writing the action scenes and getting the character’s emotions out. I’m a fan of the Percy Jackson books and Harry Potter, so I would be looking to them for inspiration.

As someone who spends most of his time with horror and fantasy, I feel like I would be most comfortable writing a Middle-Grade novel that is at least part fantasy or even science fiction. That’s when the idea hit me like a harpie falling from the sky. Science fiction is the way to go. A little bit Halo, a little bit Alien, the world of Rift was born. It also helped that I had two teenagers at home to bounce ideas off of. With their help, we brainstormed the world, the factions, and all the main characters.

Now, as I figure out the minute details, such as motivations and alliances, I get excited with the possibility of this new world to explore and new genre to play in. I do have another project, non-fiction, that I am hard at work on and is taking up what little free time I have, but I’m really excited to take on this new adventure. What’s the non-fiction thing? I’m not telling… yet.

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