But today, she's here to talk about writing Young Adult.
On Writing YA
Hi, my name’s Rachel, and I write YA (“Hi, Rachel”). I’ve always written YA, even when I didn’t know that’s what it was called. I wrote it when I was young and didn’t have the perseverance to get past the first few chapters, and I write it now when I’m, uh, not quite as young, and have the self-discipline to get myself to the end of a story. But it’s only recently that I started thinking about why I write YA.
Reason #1: The YA voice is the one I relate to the most. I mean, I’m technically not a young adult anymore. I’m an adult (in age, anyway!). But I don’t really feel like one, and when I sit down to write, it’s a YA voice that comes most naturally and easily to me. I don’t have to try and be formal or proper. I can just relax into the language.
Reason #2: I love writing about firsts. When you’ve kissed someone hundreds of times, it’s not that exciting anymore, but the first time . . . Well, it’s a kiss to remember, for good or for bad! And the first time someone holds your hand, the first date you go on, the first time your heart is broken, the first time you sneak out of the house to do something you shouldn’t . . . Life goes on and you can forget what these things feel like, but pick up a YA book and an author can make you remember exactly what that moment felt like when you were first there.
Reason #3: Everything is a big deal when you’re that age. Everything just means so much more! Good things aren’t just great, they’re epic. And bad things aren’t just terrible, they’re the end of the world. Having passed through the YA years, it’s a relief not to feel everything so intensely anymore. But I sure do enjoy writing about it!
Reason #4: I find it fascinating to look at a person (real or imagined) and examine all the things they’ve been through in life that have shaped them into the person they are right now. That must be why I love origin stories and prequels. With YA characters, that process is still happening.
Perhaps one day I’ll write an adult book. Or a middle grade book. For now, though, my true love is YA.
If you're a writer, what age category do you write for?
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