Tuesday, January 24, 2012

i didn't know i was writing YA... and i'm still not totally sure.

Today, I'm participating in this:

more info here.
Hosted by SA Larsen at Writer's Ally. Want to join the team? It's as easy as blogging on Tuesdays about anything YA-related. ;) We'll see how well I can hold up.

So, confession time:

I did not know YA was a thing until I started reading blogs. In all honesty, I stumbled upon the microcosm quite by accident. Good thing, too, because my writing life has grown exponentially since then {about two years ago}.

And lo, the lightbulb shone. You know, that lightbulb. I had been fiddling around with the backbone of my story {which has changed so much in two years, I hardly recognize it... in a good way}, eye-deep in identity crisis, when it occurred to me.

My main character is 16.
Not 10.
Not 23.
Of course he's 16.
{maybe 14?}
{no, 16.}
No wonder I like those blogs.
I'm writing YA, too.

Commence euphoria.
Chase with more identity crisis.

Because, you see, here's my second confession, one I realized after a year and a half of total YA immersion:

I'm really not the biggest fan of a lot of YA books I've read.
Like, to the point where I had to call it quits.
For a while.

Is it because I'm no longer an actual teenager? I don't know. The few that I've absolutely loved are the books my teen friends like best, too.

Does it have something to do with the seemingly rapid pace of the market? Am I just a stinky geezer with unrealistic standards for what I read?

Whom is YA really for?

Recently, after finishing yet another book that was supposed to be OMGAMAZING, but was actually omgnotasgoodasitcouldandshouldhavebeen, I realized,

Maybe YA isn't for me?


Okay. Time to stop being dramatic. YA is not the problem.

The real issue is that I've been pigeonholing myself. Having a 16-year-old MC doesn't mean I have to write dystopian. My duty is to write the story that wants to be told, as someone other than me probably once said. I'll worry about the marketing later {if I ever even need to}. 

I can't deny that a ton of the YA books I've read truly are OMGAMAZING. Human beings carry different opinions and live different lives. I'm never going to love some books, and that's okay. I can learn from every single one I read. And, no matter how unenjoyable a book is for me, I will ALWAYS respect the person who wrote it.
How could I not, now that I know?

That being said... I have to admit, it's kind of nice to be reading adult fiction, right now.

You know. Just for a while. 



  1. You're wise to see that you will not enjoy every book you read, but can still respect the author. Bravo!! So happy you've joined the YATT supporters! I'm following you now.

  2. Oh goodness, I have found myself in the same position. I write YA, but I really only like a few YA books. My favorites are the oldies. My subject matter is similar to what's being written today, but my style isn't. It worries me! But you are right -- all we can do is stay true to our stories!

    1. (I'm pretty sure I'd like your style better, anyway. For reals.)

  3. Maybe we need a club of YA writers who don't read YA . . . at least not much.

  4. Some adult fiction books are quite good.

  5. Hehehe sounds like we're in the same book with this. The thing is, I like YA that doesn't try to be YA. For example the Hunger Games. It's YA, but no one would see Katniss as the eye-rolling teenaged twit that one can find in other YA books.


    1. "YA that doesn't try to be YA." Yes, you hit the nail on the head!

  6. Hey Juliemybird.
    I agree! I wondered if it was just me. I love writing YA, however aim for more of a cross-over market. And I have to say I've read my way through the selection at our local library and most didn't really spark my attention.
    Glad I'm not the only one :)
    I'm a new follower so look forward to your future posts ;)


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