Saturday, June 21, 2008

WORD: Explaining the Innovation Thing

by Gabrielle Linnell

When you think of writing and publishing (literary, books, inklings, whiteboards) you don't think of "innovation." Innovation is a term used by those science nerds at MIT creating thumb-sized cell phones. So why on earth would I name this shindig Innovative? It's a weird word, people pronounce different ways, and if you click on you'll be surprised at what you find.

Today's teen generation will be the "ruling generation" in what, thirty years? That's a long time. But today's teen writers are entering the publishing world right now, and adding their voices to the mix. They do not add wisdom, or nostalgia, or perfect technique. They're often still developing personal style, and unsure of how they fit in the literary world. But something they do bring is innovation. They bring new ideas, new perspectives and new ways of doing things. Innovation.

The rest of the title is A Word for the WriTeen. Well, "Innovative" is the (key) "Word" for the "Wri" (writing, literary, etc.) "Teen." See? It all makes sense now.

What makes us different is what makes us published. I'm working on a book right now that is, in some ways, the easiest one I've ever written. It's personal, controversial, and full of all those writer adjectives meaning "lots of fun." But almost without exception, I get stuck whenever it starts to become somebody else's book, a story like other people's stories. Innovation - the way I write - is what gets me writing well again.

Gabrielle Linnell has been published almost thirty times. She likes Arthur, sleeping in and eating at Cracker Barrel late at night.


Anonymous said...

Personally, I'm a love sap at heart - I'm big into love stories. (I'm writing a love story novel right now.) What genre is your book, Gabrielle?

Gabrielle said...

Contemporary young adult fiction. Heehee. Previous title "Suspended," current title, "The Destruction of an Honor Student." Not very violent, though.

I, too, am a romantic, and I think I may be incapable of writing a book with strong romantic themes. I have yet to do otherwise.