Writerly Things 6/10/19: Why I Write YA
It Takes Me Back.
There were very few YA novels when I was in high school. I always wished for more. I’d been reading adult stuff for a long time before I even knew about YA novels. Something about them captivated me. It was like that first chance you got to emerge into a more grown-up world. The first step you take along your journey in life. It fascinated me. There were endless possibilities of what could happen, who you could be. What was the right one? The choice was what mattered. That choice got me thinking about YA characters more and more. It seemed natural for me to be drawn to that genre.
If your character has a reason to get out there, to fight till the end, it brings the writer and the reader back to see where it goes. Maybe family motivates them. Maybe friends. Pets. Neighbors. So on. It could be a darkness has threaded into their soul and they have to figure a way to save themselves. The world could have ended. Cancer reared its head. The weight of a secret. The threat from a boyfriend. Suicide. Grief. No telling where the needle points but it points somewhere. This keeps us reading, getting words down on the page time after time.
Young Voices Need to be Heard.
Do you remember when you were younger and wanted to be counted? To be given a voice? Well, that’s still true today for the younger generation. Life can seem so out of control. Violence. Gun control. Trauma. Eating disorders. Rape. So on. There’s so much out there the youth of today face. YA helps them to see that the bad guys can be defeated. Wrongs righted. Grief overturned. It can also show them the reality that it doesn’t just happen overnight. Healing takes time. Effort. Love and support from others. If we ever had a job as a nation, it’s to stabilize our youth, help them to be heard. One day, they’ll be in our place. Don’t we want them to be all that they can be?