Now for April showers, seeing as we had a deluge here today this seems more than appropriate. My post will be a little short this week because I'm up to my ears with stuff and nonsense to do. So here we go, I'm going to answer a question I heard at the TLA conference -- Why do you write YA? I think I write YA because it is the moment of invention in the human journey. Stories for adults are about reinvention of the self. Someone doesn't like who they have become and they change into someone else. You may tire of your life and go on a journey to eat, pray and love. You may find that you are on a journey for riches, but end up on Mars to hook up with the princess and save her planet too. You may be someone who has found your life is not about you but about getting your child to a sanctuary. This is every adult book on the shelf.
In young adult novels things are different; main characters discover who they are for the first time. This is the moment of first invention of self.
As a person, I came early to this first invention of self. I wasn't a writer, but my first invention of self was a person of worth. I think this is something you hunger for when you are taking those first steps into awareness and when you find OMG! You know, I think every teen ought to have a little bubble overhead, proclaiming "Worthy! Worthy!." Another part of this invention, you get to answer the mythic questions for the very first time. Who are you? What do you want? The chance to explore these moments is a great journey to me. I especially like to surprise my characters with the overwhelming wonder of the true answers to their mythic questions. And last, the first invention is about exploring "the sudden drown of knowing" a little phrase I've borrowed from YA starlet author Katherine Grace Bond. This is the time of visions. The mind is on fire with knowing, and it's this deep understanding that is the fire in YA fiction.
Oh, if you are on this journey of writing for YA folks, I hope that you will infuse worthiness into your characters , that you write the best answers to the mythic questions, and finally wade into the deep waters of knowing.
No doodle of the week, instead here is Orson Scott Card crushing my head -- or, as my sister says: "Orson healing you from writer's block." I honestly am having a lot of fun in this life.
Well, finally a quote to keep with you --
O! for a muse of fire, that would ascend the brightest heaven of invention.William Shakespeare