Friday, June 10, 2011

Why Do I Write YA?

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This is a very good question and I'm interested to see the other entries in this blogfest. Young Adult has become quite the book section in bookstores. Things have changed a bit since I was reading YA books, which was like junior high but still. Thanks to great authors there have always been good books to read. While I didn't read much of the age range when I was in high school, I still appreciated and still do the authors and books that are and were available. But why did I start writing books that are for young adults? Probably not for the reasons people expect.

Honestly... I didn't plan to become a young adult writer. The last favorite genre I had before college was adult epic fantasy and my initial novel ideas were all adult, being a morph from historical fiction to epic fantasy and such.  And the first year I made it to 50k for NaNoWriMo and came out with a finished 1st draft, it was a romance/erotica story. Doesn't sound very YA does it?

Yet, here I am with my first novel that is going to be ready for submission is YA (and borderline close to MG). It's a series and I have one other YA book started and several other ideas waiting to be written. The idea for Tattle Tell came to me in a dream, though the idea is for book 2, and I started writing book 1 in 2007. It has taken me a long time but I'm almost done with the rewrite, then comes the edit and beta readers. Why make it YA? The characters just happened to come to me as teenagers. I have an adult mutant series as well, with the main character being in his mid-20's.

The main reason I write YA is because those are the ideas that come to me. The other part of why I enjoy writing YA and have no problem with the change is because even my YA books have gay main characters and I know that glbt teens are wanting more books with characters they can relate to since I used to volunteer with glbt teens. I hope that I can provide more books and get them published so they have more to read.

So, these are the reasons why I write YA.

Do you write YA?
Why or why not?


Gabriela Pereira said...

Dawn--I like this post. It's interesting because I too started out writing for adults (or at least trying to write for adults... somehow my stories always ended up sounding like YA.) Eventually I realized that maybe YA was the best genre for me. It's cool to see other writers who also came to YA in a roundabout way. :-)

Shannon Lawrence said...

I also sort of just arrived at YA in my writing without specifically intending to. I think it's great that you have characters from the glbt community. If there is one group of marginalized teens that needs characters they can identify with, it is those of the glbt community.

Jane George said...

Hi Dawn,

So you're another writer who has story ideas arrive in dreams. Cool! Best of luck with your stories and upcoming submission!

Jolene Perry said...

I LOVE to write YA - emotions at that age are so raw and new and I've always loved to read it, so yeah, that's why I write YA.

Kate Larkindale said...

I love the characters and stories that come in dreams. If they stick, they're often the ones that work.

Great post!

The Red Angel said...

Great post, Dawn. :) I do indeed write YA (though that's not all I write!), and I've listed the reasons in my own blogfest entry!

Your reasons are very understandable. Young adults are fascinating individuals and it's almost impossible (for me, at least) to not be intrigued even little by the lives they lead and the feelings and thoughts they have inside.

Alas! When those voices call out to you and tell you to write their story, you can't very well ignore them! ;-)


Sophia Richardson said...

I didn't initially make a conscious decision to write YA either, my characters just came to me as teens. Sometimes the setting (boarding school) or theme (coping with dysfunctional friendships between girls) dictates the age. I have started to focus on YA more now since the other genres I love to read -- fantasy and historical fiction -- feel a little out of my league to write at the moment: it's the Byzantine politics I love and plotting is not my strong suit.
- Sophia.

Dawn Embers said...

Gabriela Perieira - Thanks for the comment. It is cool to see the different reasons and definitely nice to know we're not the only ones who don't start out in where we end up writing.

Shannon Lawrence - Good to see someone else who made it to YA unintentionally. That is true about the glbt teens. And there are still universal topics that all types of teens struggle with.

Jane George - Thanks for the nice comment. :-) Dreams are fun when they become novel ideas.

Jolene Perry - It is fun, though I still have great fun with my adult novels too.

Kate Larkindale - Thanks! I love that they come in dreams, I am working on three novels from them now.

The Red Angel - Hi there and thank you. It is hard to ignore those voices, no matter how crazy it makes us sound. ;-)

Sophia Richardson - Glad I'm not the only one. :-D
If the characters come as teenagers, then that is how I write them, true. Good luck with the plotting.

NiaRaie said...

Yes, teens are defnitely waiting for books with more relatable characters. Kudos to you for writing books like that and thx for stopping by my blog!

Ghenet Myrthil said...

I also started off writing short stories for adults but then realized I enjoyed writing for younger audiences better. I think it's great that you're writing stories about GLBT teens because it's true that there need to be more books for them to relate to. Good luck with your submission!

(Sorry for the late comment! I was away from my computer all weekend. Thanks for participating in our blog fest!!)

Dawn Embers said...

NiaRaie - Thanks for coming by my blog and commenting.

Ghenet Myrthil - No worries; I appreciate comments no matter when they come. Good luck with your stories too!


I write like
Arthur Conan Doyle

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I write like
Mark Twain

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!