Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Who Are You Writing For?

This is a topic I've thought about a lot recently. This blog is aimed at authors who are trying to write their stories towards anyone under the age of 18 (unless I'm missing the point and getting kicked out of here.)

I am trying to be a YA author. Now, I'm one of the youngest (if not the youngest) contributor to this blog. (I am not quite 29, for those wondering.) But I'm not writing to me. I'm writing something that I would've wanted to read when I was 15ish. But with that, I have to look at what is going on with a 15-year-old in his/her life. Not what I perceive, however. What is really there.

There are a lot of things that parents may want to ignore with what their teenagers deal with. Sometimes, adults need reality checks on how their teens are. Yeah, I'm not the parent of teenagers, but I really have seen some parents discuss their teenaged children in such a way that I was like "Do you not recall what the teenage years were like?" Out of these parents' mouths was a response like "Oh yeah, I thought life was tough, little did I know." Unfortunately, if you're writing towards teens (because that is the Y.A. audience, even though adults try to be all caught up on Y.A. reading) then you need to let your characters and story go to them.

Also, the thing that I think is interesting is the language factor in Y.A. Honestly, I never really swore as a teenager. If I did, it was on accident. (Yeah, I'm a bitter adult I guess because I've used more swearing in the last 5 years than I did during my first 24.) I don't know about you, but I went to high school in Southern California. The only days that I didn't hear at least 30 swear words were the days I didn't go to school. I'm not saying we need to put the f-word in everything we write. Nor would I dare do it. But I think people need to remember how 'adult' the 'young adults' actually act sometimes.

Just something to remember as you sit down and write that Y.A. novel. And remember:

Alien abductions are involuntary, but probings are scheduled.

1 comment:

Julie Daines said...

Good thoughts, T. J. When writing for this age group, you really do have to spend some time reminiscing about the good ol' days.

It also helps having teens in the house. They don't use the words teen drama for nothin'!