Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Can You Crossover?

My day has gotten away again. Between waking up at the crack of dawn to do 'MOM' stuff, keeping up on correspondence and social media, and spending time with my favorite Aunt. I have once again failed to cross over between my real life and my writing life. Hence the reason my blog is so late today..
The concept of crossing over has always interested me. How does an author like James Patterson cross over from his horror/thrillers to Young Adult? How did J.K. Rollins keep a Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Adult audience captivated for so long, but now struggles in the Adult Arena. How did Stephanie Meyer take an old idea like vampires and catch the attention of millions of all ages? What is the secret of "Crossing Over"?
Cross overs have occurred in the art, music and literature arena's for decades as people begin to embrace their own diversity as well as that of others.
When the music of the fifties sounds as cool as the eighties, or the music of the modern day actually includes some of the same songs, it becomes apparent that our children are much more open to diversity than my parents or grandparents were.
The same holds true for art and/or literature. Ansel Adams' photography, Michael Angelo's sculptures, Greek mythology and Shakespeare are all found in modern work.
The secret to the successful crossover is, for me, the ability to tell a compelling story as old as time, which has the thoughts, words and emotions that sound genuine to the human spirit.
Finding happiness, true love, a purpose beyond this world, and the desire to chase a dream.
a 13 yr. old feels similar longings to be accepted that the 33 yr. old mother of three does. To be wanted,loved, and  seen as beautiful, smart, and special in the world. To overcome fears, to forgive mistakes, and to feel like the center of someone's universe. For Meyer, Rollins, Patterson, and many more touching on the inner emotions of the writer is paramount to having access to the heart and soul of the reader.
When I hold back my pain as I develop a character, I hold back the core part of what links us as humans together. Our deep desires make us vulnerable but it's that vulnerability that makes a reader fall in love with a character or story. No matter what the reader's age.
Unfortunately, it is much harder said, than done. I'm still learning how to make a scene live and breathe while exposing the character's innermost thoughts and fears. I read these other authors in effort to understand better what I need to do, but in the end it takes practice.
Practice writing, plotting, character building, and yes...reading.
Give yourself permission to read, it is an author's bread and butter. Find great novels, short stories, poetry, and memoirs that bring out your emotion and then feast on every syllable.
In next week's blog I'm reviewing an author who has taken a story of a boy's dream, mixed it with betrayal, danger, death, and heartache to bring the story alive.This author has also been able to cross her Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Adult audiences, holding their interest.  Look for the review next Wednesday and watch during the month of March as we discuss voice, characters, and plots that work for authors who strive to reach an ageless audience. Until then, keep writing, smiling and reading.

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