Writerly Things…7/1/19: Should You Leave a Message Out of YA?
First off, YA readers don’t like to be slammed with a message. That’s not to say you can’t have a theme in your story but don’t hit someone over the head with it. Keep it quiet. Keep it gentle. Be nice. Personally, I don’t worry too much about themes when I’m drafting my stories. They usually emerge as I go along but I don’t shove it out there in the reader’s face. I want my readers to enjoy the story above all.
Don’t Start with a Theme.
Start with characters. Wrap the story around them. This ensures that you won’t irritate the reader. Okay, say you want to impart a message about the environment. Show your characters picking up litter, working to warn others about the pollutants in the local drinking water. Stay in school? Show the benefits. It’s all about choices. Just like life. What choices your characters make reflect on them and the life around them. Show the good. Show the bad. Show the heartbreak. The reader will be pulled into the story and may change the direction of their life. Plenty of books do this. But I bet, the author didn’t start off with the intention to have that happen. It just did.
Do you work a theme into your stories?
Have a great week, take care, and God bless!