Thursday, July 5, 2012

Why I Read/Write YA

I find myself having to defend my love for YA lately. Why is this? When people ask why YA of all things, I say "Why not?"

The thing I enjoy most about YA is that it's fun to read. I mean, I actually have *fun* reading. Most people I know consider reading as too much work. That's when I say "You're not reading the right book."

I like my books fast-paced and easy to read. Does that make me a dumb person? No. I read to disappear into a book for hours and connect with the characters that are relatable. At twenty-seven, I must admit that I am still very young at heart. The characters portrayed in majority of YA novels are characters that I feel are similar to people I actually know or grew up with, or even similar to me in ways. I'm a big kid and I still dream about living in a magical world or having supernatural powers or being a major bad ass with mad skills. I also enjoy the paranormal aspect where ghosts, vampires, and other mythical creatures exist. These are the types of things I love about a good book. They allow me to live these things that are otherwise impossible in the real world. And what's so wrong with that?

The biggest thing I find myself falling for is the love story. Oh yes, the feeling of first love. Who doesn't remember that feeling? That feeling in the pit of your stomach that flutters when the boy of your dreams walks into your life, or even the boy you'd known all your life who suddenly sweeps you off your feet. Sometimes a book can be wonderful without a love interest, but more often than not you'll find it in YA. I'm perfectly okay with this. Sure, not all love interests have to be super hot or perfect, but it doesn't hurt.

Writing YA is something I can connect with. It's something I can put into words that makes sense. To me, it's real in a way. Not to sound like a crazy person, but I can bring those characters to life, make them believable, because that's who I am. I think, and feel, and understand them. My life is so consumed with adult stuff every day, but once I read or write, I feel more myself than I do in my social life. And why is this? Because I'm a dreamer. I love to imagine beautiful things and interesting people that can express parts of me that I can't express out loud. Because writing these stories make people smile, maybe even scare them a little, and most of all, it makes me happy.

Writing YA is so much more than getting published. Though being published would be a dream come true. That's just being honest. But even if that day never comes, I will still write YA. I will always continue to write and write, simply because it brings so much joy to my life. And I hope, that no matter what happens with your writing career, that you will do the same, because that's what it's all about.

14 comments:

  1. I LOVE this! We shouldn't have defend love for YA at all. Also, no genre-bashing hipsters either. Just because paranormal romance or dystopian fictions are popular right now doesn't mean we should be ashamed to like it!

    One of my favorite YA romances is "If I Stay" by Gayle Forman, have you read it?

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    1. I haven't! I'll check it out on Goodreads and add it to my TBR list. Thank you so much for your comment and backing me up on this. haha

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  2. I get comments on this all the time. People also make the assumption that because I'm young myself, I'll someday "graduate" to writing fiction for adults. When I claim this isn't true, that I've always wanted to write for children, they give me this condescending smile. I just hate the bad rap YA gets with some of the so-called "academics."

    Great blog! New follower :).

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    1. Thank you so much, Kate! We just have to show those people what's up and write some darn good YA. ;)

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    2. Kate
      I'm well beyond my twenties, and I love reading and writing YA. Maybe there's no hope for "grown ups" either. :) Heather, great post!

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    3. Thank you! And I'm totally okay with being a big kid forever. At least that means I don't take things too seriously. ;)

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  3. I write about young people because I was a young person myself when I started writing, and it would've made no sense to write about adults and adult experiences and situations. Though I also write about adults now, I've also continued writing about children, preteens, and teens because it's familiar, and often more fun and exciting than writing about their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. Since I started writing way before the current YA explosion, I always considered myself to be writing more about characters who happened to be young, not young adult books in particular.

    I write (20th century) historical, so I'm having some doubts about whether certain of my books with younger characters would be considered true YA in today's market, but in my heart, I still consider them young adult where it really counts. I'd love to see a resurgence of the type of young adult books that were more common when I was a young adult a generation ago, quieter, more character-driven books instead of fast-paced and plot-centric, and with more length on them.

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    1. There are definitely some YA books out there that are just as you described. That's what I love about the genre. There's a large range for it. :)

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  4. YA covers such a huge range of topics. Where else in the bookstore can you find a contemporary coming of age beside a dystopian love triangle, plus move one shelf down and you'll find historic vampire novels.

    But at the heart of YA is raw, untested emotions and MC's that are floundering at times then rock solid the next. Who wouldn't want to read about characters like that?

    Great post, Heather. Keep them coming.

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    1. Exactly! YA is great for everyone. What's not to love? ;)

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  5. This is awesome! I feel exactly the same way! Besides the fact that so much of YA is sooo beautifully well-written, they're such fantastic escapes and they really let you explore worlds, circumstances, and emotions you might have never thought of. New follower!

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    1. I completely agree with all of this. :)

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  6. I just read your comment about donating a sock to a house elf. Which is why I'm posting again. ;)

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With each comment, I will donate a sock to free a house elf.