Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Why I write YA Contemporary

Lydia Sharp over at the Sharp Angle has a great post of Why I Write YA Contemporary from a contest winner. Check it out.

Here was my entry.


Why I write YA Contemporary

My third completed manuscript was a YA contemporary dedicated to my niece, who happens to love "real life" stories.

I always considered myself a fantasy writer. Growing up was hard. I didn't want to repeat it over and over in my writing. It would drive me insane, or so I thought. Funny, looking back at my writing journey as a teen I always started my stories as a memoir until some paranormal freak or sword wielding ninja entered into the story. As an adult, I realized that I was hiding from what it was to be me. Therapy, in a nutshell.

I decided to write my first YA Contemporary piece because I felt strong about the story. A journey of finding oneself is hard as an adult, can you imagine a teen?  I've worked with "at risk" youth (whatever the heck that means), and have seen the gang-bangers, the innocent bystanders gun down, but there's still hope of "making it". Against all odds, teens find the courage to stand up for themselves, to be noticed, to persevere.  And in the midst of all that, they try to find meaning in life. I don't want to preach. I don't want to point fingers. I don't want to romanticize violence or hard core issues. I want to show it. Period. This is what helped me to keep the paranormal freaks out of this one manuscript. This is what led me to write another YA Contemporary with a whole different set of problems. But hope will always remain and teens will persevere.  

Why do you write YA?

7 comments:

  1. Wow. Powerful stuff! Thanks for sharing why you write contemporary YA! Sounds like you've got a lot of resources to tap into.

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  2. I can definitely see why you write YA. And I agree with you, that me writing fantasy, especially when I was younger had a lot to do with not wanting to fess up to the real life stuff. Thank you for sharing.

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  3. All excellent reasons for writing YA. I'm glad you took the plunge because now I get to reap the rewards!

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  4. Yeah, Jess, including my two teens at home.

    Thanks for your comment Anita and Emily.

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  5. It's funny for me that I can only seem to write what comes out at the time even though I read other genres frequently.

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  6. I haven't tried writing YA, but I like your reasoning. I probably should revisit some of my stories and idea notes that I wrote when I was younger and see if I could make them work now. Doesn't hurt to take a shot.

    Lee

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  7. Hey LM, I wish my brain worked out that way. LOL.

    Hi Arlee. Anything is game. Voice is key with YA. Good luck with that.

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