|Erica and Jacquelyn|
Why Write Young Adult?
- Protagonist and (usually) the antagonist are teenagers. They do the heavy lifting; they're the ones who get in and out of trouble.
- They're usually 16 or 17.
- Rules about writing are there. You can break them if you do it with authenticity and class.
- Young Adult literature is relatively new. Catcher in the Rye (1950) was first YA book.
- Voice--the way in which things are said--is so important. "Young adult literature often expresses the alienation that even happy teenagers feel."
- Young adult is the only segment of publishing that has been growing for 20 years.
- The topography of teenagers' emotions is huge. "In high school they are changing on a molecular level into another person."
- In the 20th century, psychologists realized that an adolescent had to separate from family to become his/her own person. This was reflected in literature such as The Chocolate War and The Outsiders.
- Young adult is often written in an intimate, conversational style. Reader can connect with the characters on a friendship level. Adolescents still have enough of the child inside of them that they believe characters are real. (Reason why they'll get dressed up as a character for a book signing.)
- New Adult is already over.
- As an editor at Merit Press, Jacquelyn is looking for realistic contemporary fiction. "Hormones and heat, but not foul or graphic."
- Write large, not subtle. Don’t attempt young adult if you don’t read it and enjoy it.
- Unusual set-ups are good. Fresh. Not contemporary slang that will give the book a shelf life of two years.
- In young adult fiction, layers are pealed back. Emotions are up front and genuine. The teen's survival (either physical or emotional) is at stake.
- One half of young adult readers are adults because dark and light are more extreme.
- Young adult brings rebels to life. Readers can live vicariously through characters.
- Love and respect your teen audience. "When you do this kind of writing you can change the world without preaching."
- When she is in the middle of writing a book, before she goes to sleep Jacquelyn thinks, “I’m going to be X now.” This taps into her sub-conscious.
- A book can’t be about an issue, like a parent's alcoholism. It’s about the conflict that is raised within the protagonist as a result of the parent's alcoholism.
- If you want to write young adult, you better be reading it.
|This is one of the books from Merit Press.|
Written by my FB friend, Christine Kohler,
it's on my TBR list!