Friday, January 21, 2011

A Position of Trust

Okay people, it’s Friday, and as promised, I intend to tie into Monday and Wednesday’s posts and what broken-hearted children have to do with writing.

Two things, actually.

First, when it comes to writing for or about young adults, moments or situations like the ones I mentioned Monday tend to be crucial turning points in the lives of our youth. And depending on the person, one situation can bring about any number of different outcomes.

It all depends on who that person is, what they stand for, what they want, who supports them, and what they do next.  Situations like this? Birth of all contemporary YA novels.

Yeah. (And you wondered where story ideas come from!)

Okay, second. Real life kids—aka readers—have certain expectations from our content. They expect not only a compelling story with characters they love and an interesting plot, but they expect a realistic and satisfying outcome. They expect our fictional characters to help them figure out what to do in their very real lives, how to act and react. (But if we preach, they’re gone.)

But most importantly, they expect that we—the trusted adult author—will not let them down. That by the time they get to the end of our book, they will have figured out how to conquer high school, relationships, parents, and very possibly, the world.

All in ninety-thousand words or less.  No problem!  (See Wednesday’s post if you need a pep talk.)

Stories like this line bookstore and library shelves, float around in backpacks, purses, and lockers. They walk the streets and head to class and shop at the mall. They’re everywhere.

They’re today’s kids. And they’re nothing less than perfect.

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