The Stormtrooper Mentality
You probably already know that according to the Myers-Briggs personality test, I’m an ISTJ. Part of my personality is to find comfort in rigid structure, so I find comfort in labeling myself, and I have mentioned my personality traits many times on this site. The part of my personality I’d like to talk about today is my propensity to be an Imperial Stormtrooper.
What I mean by Stormtrooper is that I love rules and I love it when people give me rules to follow. Despite my creative mind, I never have the confidence to think up ideas and take action myself. I will by authoritative if I have
to, but I thrive under competent leadership. And all that is to explain why I didn’t think of this by myself but now I am ever so eager to follow through.
What Role Do I Play?
This week at work I had my three-month review. Yeah, I’ve been in this position for four months now, but that’s not important. I had expected the review to be my supervisor critiquing me and telling me what I’d been doing right and wrong. In my writing and in my life I thrive on constructive criticism. However, this review was more introspective, forcing me to think about myself as an editor and convincing my supervisor that I was learning and growing in my position. The last question that I had to answer was, “What role do you see yourself playing in your department?”
It was a hard one for me to answer, mostly because I was afraid I was going to get it wrong. But when I really thought about, I recalled what my boss had said a few months ago about wanting each of the editors to be an expert in a specific genre. What is trending in each genre, what the audience is looking for, how to best reach that target audience, and how to follow the rules of each genre. I told my supervisor during my meeting that whenever we got to that level of development, I wanted to be an expert in Young Adult Fantasy. That is my favorite genre to read, it’s what genre Into the Flames is, and I feel like I’ve shown a good grasp of how to edit toward that genre. Not to mention that, in the wake of Harry Potter, the genre is being flooded with amateur writers to make their mark. Some of these newbies are making a positive mark for themselves, and others are just giving Young Adult Fantasy a bad name. Tate Publishing is seeing a large influx of YA Fantasy just like the rest of the world, and I’d love to really familiarize myself with this genre so that I could be a strong editor in this field and pass on my knowledge to other editors as needed.
My supervisor said to me, “Well, why don’t you just go ahead and make yourself an expert? There’s nothing stopping you from doing that yourself. You can read the books, put in the research, write editing notes for that specific genre. I think that is a great idea.”
Jessie, the Expert
It was as if magical words had been spoken. Do the work anyway? I would never have given myself permission to do such a thing, but since my superior suggested it…I can’t wait to get started!
So that’s what I’m doing. I already have a pretty solid background, what with my knowledge of Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Twilight, and Scott Westerfeld’s novels. But I’m ready to dive even farther, to see what I can glean about the Young Adult Fantasy genre to make myself a better editor (and writer in the process).
So as a reader, what do YOU look for most in a Young Adult Fantasy novel? What continues to fail you time and again, and what do you think this genre generally does really well? What are some books that you would suggest I read as good examples of the genre?