It's not historical romance. It's not paranormal romance. It's not romance at all: it's middle grade fiction and it's kind of fun.
Having a nine year old and loving kids books generally, I've read quite a bit of middle grade and YA fiction. I love it as a genre--MG books are often adventurous, ingenious and action-packed. I like their immediacy, and so I was kind of up for giving it a go and this is what I came up with:
11 year old Violet Penn has never been to school and she’s never watched TV, but she and her family are famous in Little Hatcham. That’s what happens when your mum and dad are the world’s most bohemian couple: artist Amazonia Penn and musician Jack Minstrel. But the Penn family have a secret: they’re witches, hiding in plain sight. All except Violet that is—she’s a dud.
Violet doesn’t mind being the unexceptional exception, until her talented twin Indigo is swept off for a life of fame and stardom in the US, and Violet the dud is left behind. She’s handled enchanted crocodiles, and a shape-shifting grandma, but now she has to face her greatest challenge of all: school.
Can Violet cope when the ordinary world seems so very extraordinary?
I've got a plot, and I've got character outlines, and frankly, that's more than I usually have when I start out.
But, what I don't have is a Middle Grade critique buddy, so if you know anyone up for swapping pages, beta reading or critiquing Middle Grade, give me a shout!
Some challenges for me:
1) I'm writing first person. But sometimes I forget I'm writing first person. So, oops.
2) I'm quite sweary. Middle Grade isn't. Oops.
3) I write long--I like to spend time on world-building, and detail and I hardly ever stay within word count on the first draft. I want this to be 50K words tops, so I'm going to have to work hard to keep it simple. I'm already at nearly 3K and I've barely got off the ground.
In the meantime, some lovely tips for Middle Grade writing:
Your tips are most welcome!