Susan Adrian blogged on this subject a couple of weeks ago, but I thought it could bear repeating here. I've noticed a trend lately, and I'm beginning to find it slightly offensive. Why...why do people think writing Young Adult is easy? Almost as though it doesn't take any "real" skill because teenagers are the intended audience. That knocking out a YA is quick and simple and something you can manage by simply snapping your fingers. VOILA...and a novel will spring fully formed from your forehead. (Gah, I gotta figure out how to do that!)
GIVE ME A BREAK.
I have to tell you, YA has a whole set of challenges that are just as complicated as writing an adult novel -- perhaps even more so because you're also limited in word count. Try taking your 120K story and condensing it into the 40-60K norm for YA. Trust me, it ain't easy. (G)
Not only that, but the topics and emotions covered in YA are so much more...raw and immediate. In addition to that, you have to balance the way you choose to tell your story lest you alienate any particular group -- parents, libraries, teens who aren't mature enough to read your work...teens who are too mature.... the list goes on! And don't get me started on KNOWING the market, but more importantly...TEENS.
I don't know a lot of teens. BUT, I do read a TON of YA these days. I watch teenage oriented television programs...I listen, I learn, and I try to apply that knowledge to my books. When I see someone who doesn't even attempt to observe these things before/during the process of writing a YA, I have to shake my head in confusion. That's like trying to write about the Middle Ages without ever reading a history book. Why would you do that? And why would you expect to be successful in conveying the period accurately?
Now, I have to fully admit that I thought writing YA might be easier than writing an adult novel. Boy did I have it wrong--and I VERY quickly realized that--especially when my anticipated 65K book turned into a story that would need at least twice, if not triple that amount of space to tell. (g) Yes, in some ways it's easier, but in others, so much more difficult.
In the same way, I find myself somewhat frustrated with people who refuse to read YA because it just doesn't interest them. NO offense to anyone who's told me this. LOL. It's just that to me it's like saying you're not interested in good stories. Let me tell you -- I've read about 40 books in the last 6 months or so and the YA's are kicking the adult novels' asses. Of the 17 top rated books I have on Facebook, 13-14 are YA's, and I _alternate_ one adult, one YA in my tbr pile (mostly). And of my poorly rated books, not one of 'em is a YA. No, I'm not saying there aren't any bad YA's out there. LOL. But perhaps this says something about where the bar is set if you want to make it in that genre.
Just something to think about. :)
That said, I discovered a new slang word (well, not sure it's all that new) while watching the Gauntlet on MTV. See, I really do watch these shows. Oh, I also heard it used on Making The Band. (VBG)
New word: Salty. Meaning, bitchy or grumpy...sarcastic perhaps. I've made use of it already in BTPM.
--BY THE PALE MOONLIGHT (c) 2008
I rounded in my seat and flipped him off. “He’s my friend, a$$hole.”
Vince narrowed his dark eyes. “Who you talking to, b&tch?”
“I’m talking to—“
“Hey, don’t get salty, babe.” David draped his arm over my shoulders and turned me back around. “Chill.”
Heh, what a funny word. (g)