One of the things I love about writing YA is that writing in genre is encouraged and supported. In the six books I’ve written, three have been post-apocalyptic, one horror (okay, comedy/horror) and two fell into the historical fantasy genre.

Playing with genre is fun and a great way to wake up the brain, so I thought I’d share with you a fun 5 minute-warm up you can use the next time you sit down to write – or any time you need to fire up your brain creatively.

Here’s the exercise:
1. Make a list of five everyday activities (like walking the dog, or loading clothes into the washing machine).

  1. Pair each one with one of the following genres: Sci-fi, Romance, Fantasy, Western, Film Noir.

  2. Choose the one that’s the most exciting and spend five minutes writing on it.

Here’s one I did recently. Can you tell which genre I chose?

Chrissy edged forward in her desk chair, the rough black nylon chafing the back of her thighs. She couldn’t wait to hear that little ping. That glorious digital chime.

The delicate skin at her neck was flushed with the pleasure of anticipation.  She had her heavy, black hair pulled into a tight bun.

I should be good, she told herself. Patient. But her hand snaked forward, as if of its own violation, and clicked refresh.

Oh God, why is he making me wait? she thought, biting her lip. Her eyes stared at the screen as if she could will the email to arrive.

Any second… any second.

Finally, ping! It was there. Bold. Begging to be opened.
And when Chrissy clicked on that email, giving directions for how to file the quarterly state tax declaration in Bergen County, New Jersey, she moaned aloud.

Yup. Romance. Okay, maybe that veered a bit into erotica, now that I look at it again. Anyway, it’s a fun way to engage with genre!

My darlings, that’s all I got for you today. Between getting our house ready for sale and getting my kids into schools next year out in LA (Howdy Westside Waldorf school, and here we come Vistamar!) I’ve been one busy author. In fact, you may not hear from me in June, the month of the big move out. But I’ll be back in touch once we’ve settled, with reports of our adventures.