When you look at books, they are often classified into genres such as science fiction (sci-fi), fantasy, romance, thriller, young adult, and so on. Many of the general genre descriptions simply give potential readers an idea of what type of book it is. In recent years, genres have expanded to include a Young Adult or Middle School classification to help give those looking a better idea of who the book may be appropriate for in terms of complexity, sexual content, foul language, and things parents/schools are often concerned about when selecting books for children/students.
However, when looking at my currently published works for The Ascension Legacy, most retailers either have no genre associated with my book or simply have it classified as Fantasy. Does this mean that The Ascension Legacy is geared towards adults and not younger readers?
Absolutely not! If I had a hand in assigning possible genre selections for The Ascension Legacy, or any of my planned works, I would classify them as Young Adult or Middle School type books. I do not write using an excessively complex language. One reviewer suggested that I “underestimated the reader’s intelligence” but offered no other clues about how which leaves me to assume this is because of the simplified languaged I chose to use.
So why did I choose to write with such simple language? Simply put, so that more people might find the books accessible to them and be able to more fully enjoy them. I grew up reading works by Homer, William Shakespear, John Steinbeck, and J.R.R. Tolkien. Those are not easy reads and while I was able to follow along with a fair amount of those works (Shakespear was rough), I know other people who found them to be even tougher than I found them. I did not want to create something so complex or steeped in literary metaphors that the readers found them confusing or difficult. I wanted something fun and entertaining, not mentally challenging.
My goal was never to “underestimate” the intelligence of my readers but rather to create something simple and exciting. Books shouldn’t have to rely on massive words to be good. Books shouldn’t require social or political commentary masked as entertainment to be good. Authors shouldn’t feel the need to explore the hidden corners of a thesaurus to find unfamiliar or old usages of words to be considered smart. Authors shouldn’t write in a way that excludes readers from understanding or enjoying the book to be thought of as good authors.
I’ve always operated under the idea that writers should write books for others to enjoy. I feel, and will continue to feel, that writing should appeal to the masses, not the select few that can understand advanced language or complex commentary disguised as fiction. I don’t want to be subtle with my character’s motivations. I want to tackle those concepts head-on in a way that more readers can connect with and understand. I’m not trying to be thought-provoking or “deep” with my writing.
My writing style is simple and in-your-face for a reason. I don’t want my readers to question what hidden meanings are lurking in my books because there isn’t any. My writing style is intended to not underestimate my readers but instead give them a book, or books, that they can pick up and enjoy without any other worries or thought. My books are meant to be an escape into a fantasy world where readers can relax and be concerned about what the characters are going through, not how what those words might mean for our modern society or current political situation. If I wanted to write about those things, I would write about them in a direct, obvious fashion, not look for ways to hide my opinions in a fictional world.