Friday, September 9, 2011

Why, Eh?

I don't write YA.  I don't know why.  I just can't seem to get my head into that mindset.  Oh, I've tried.  Originally, the MC in Blink was in her thirties - but no one seems to be buying adult dystopian right now.  (Or if they are, I've totally missed the titles.)  The best I could do was to drop her into her early twenties and claim that her futuristic society stunted her maturity.  But she still came off as older instead of younger. 

I think the reason is that I've forgotten most of my YA years.  In part because of my accident - which blew out most of my childhood - and in part because I'm repressing those harsh times.  I didn't have a happy run from 14-18 and if I have to forget something, I'd rather forget that.  Also, I don't think I was the typical YA.  I didn't think like a YA when I was a YA.

I tried borrowing from my teenage daughter.  But that's a whole other bag of different.  Like me, she's not typical.  She was homeschooled through her YA years, which meant she didn't have much interaction with kids her own age.  Instead, she was interacting with adults.  She thought like an adult, talked like an adult and acted like an adult way before she could claim her voter registration card (which came in the mail last week). 

Sure, I act like a kid a lot.  I'm in my seventeenth childhood, after all.  But that doesn't cut the mustard for writing YA either.  I'm so out of touch with the teens, even when I'm acting like a kid, I'm not acting like them.  And so, my attempts at YA fall flat.  I can't get the voice.


I guess I'll just have to live with the fact that the genre of my heart is currently a YA fortress I don't have the keys for, and hope that someday adults will once again be open to the 'what ifs' of speculative fiction.  Until then, I'll keep writing and trying to sell my urban fantasy or my suspense to people who appreciate it.

Or maybe I'll tackle that MG fantasy I've been playing with.  If I can't go YA, maybe dropping down to a younger age - one more in keeping with my mental maturity some days - will be a good fit. 

I know a lot of my followers and visitors write YA or MG.  Why do you?  Have you tried to write adult or are you strictly in the minds of the younger readers?  If you don't write YA or MG, have you ever thought about it?

1 comment:

  1. I have troubles writing YA sometimes. My voice is too formal for the relaxed YA that seems so popular. I really have to stop and remind myself who/what I'm writing.