Why do I write YA? That's a good question. And one I may have some trouble answering.
I think the teenage years are the most important years of your life. This is the period in which you become the person you end up being. You try on personalities, develop tastes, become engaged with the moral and idealogical tenets that will guide your life. It's a time where you develop relationships outside your own family and maybe even fall in love for the first time.
It's a confusing, messy time and any little event can invoke a massive emotional response. Some people change friends like they would their socks, trying different social groups for size. Cliques form and dissolve, bullying is rampant and acts of utter cruelty can be committed.
As a writer, this is dynamic stuff, and I can't get enough of exploring it. Teens are such a contradictory mixture of child and adult, it's a compelling voice to play with. There are so many opportunities to write about things that are really important without getting preachy or didactic. I love writing about the early, clumsy attempts at adult relationships, about the changing dynamic of families as children become their own people. I love it when my characters make the right decision at a crucial moment, but like it even more when, like teenagers do so often, they make the wrong one.
So, while I love adult literature, and read it, I write YA for the dynamism, excitement and wonder of growing up. For the voice that hasn't yet been ground down by the daily grind, for the hopefulness and idealism of youth, and for the opportunity to rediscover the moments that change you forever.
Why do you write YA?
That idealism is so important. What I love about YA is that it deals with a time when everything seems possible. You can be whoever you want to be. That's pretty special.ReplyDelete
I think you just summed up everything I wanted to say about this. :) I love the insanity and hope and depression and constant contradiction that is a teenager, and I love writing about it! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.ReplyDelete
Dynamism and wonder are great words to describe YA. But I'm really glad that as a teen I didn't become the person I ended up. I would've been scr*wed, lol. Write on!ReplyDelete
Well said. You have a good point about the contradiction between child and adult. It's also a time when a person changes so often and that helps since many look for the main character to develop over the course of the story. You have a far more developed and thoughtful reason as to why you write YA than me. ;-)ReplyDelete
Great post! I definitely agree about how it's the messiness and awkwardness of the teenage years that makes YA so engaging. The chaos of teen emotions appeals to me too, especially since it leaves so much room for conflict (and conflict is what makes stories exciting).ReplyDelete
You can definitely find character development and conflict in all aspects of teen life. I love your view on teens and why you write YA.ReplyDelete
YES, this is all so true. Haha we do indeed think alike, don't we? :) Thanks for your comment on my entry.ReplyDelete
Teens are so interesting...and because I am still a teen, it's lovely to use my "YA-like thoughts" to write from a teen character's point of view.
I think this is a great post about the tribulations of teenagers. As a mum of a 15 year old girl, I can really relate to these reasons.ReplyDelete
Great reasons for writing what you do.
The daily grind .... good point! It's hard to keep a fresh perspective! This is sort of a lame comment, but you said it so well, I hope you don't mind me quoting you back:ReplyDelete
"For the voice that hasn't yet been ground down by the daily grind, for the hopefulness and idealism of youth, and for the opportunity to rediscover the moments that change you forever."
Of all the things you listed, I agree that hopefulness is a major reason I write and read YA. I think that not-yet-jaded- perspective is what makes YA lit so great.ReplyDelete
I love your reasons and totally agree with you. I enjoy exploring that shift from childhood to adulthood that teens go through. It's such an interesting time in a teen's life and really fun to write about! :)ReplyDelete
(I'm sorry for the late comment! I was away from my computer all weekend. Thanks for participating in our blog fest!)