To YA or not YA (DOG EAR) PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 23 April 2015 00:00

here is a strong Young Adult (YA) market out there. Let’s be honest. You can look back through the literary greats of our times; Shakespeare, Hemmingway, Steinbeck, hundreds of fantastic authors. And which author is so popular that an amusement park (a gigantic complex) is built to honor her creations? Yes, Harry Potter's Rowling. Never ever ever has an author been granted a construction that dwarfs those of the Pharaohs of Egypt. And this is all for a book I found unremarkable (compared to Watership Down and The Once and Future King, or even the Rings Trilogy). I mean, really, it wasn’t that deep and it wasn’t that good.

Regardless, I will admit to the power of YA literature.

This leaves me in a bit of a bind. I recently discovered what is perhaps the only copy of “Tubitz and Mergenstein” in existence (and now that I have a telescope, I’m getting an idea of just how vast existence really is). This was a story I wrote a quarter of a century ago, a steampunk tale of a young man and woman of opposite ends of the social spectrum who find themselves tossed together in a crazy adventure that will have just about everyone chasing them. They have to break out of their own limitation and stiff societal roles if they are to survive. I rather liked it (more about what I thought about my own early writing techniques in another DE piece) but I’m going to rewrite it from the ground up. And now I’m left with one central question.

YA or not?

On the plus side, there is a massive market for YA, especially if you break the next barrier towards the next new thing. All you have to do is get into that harness and you are set.

Yet on the personal negative side, I’m not sure if I could even write YA. I don’t have kids, so I don’t know how they develop. I don’t know how kids think (I didn’t even know back in high school – none of it made any sense). And a deeper issue – I explore their relationship and the dynamics of it. The heroes aren’t having sex with each other by the second section, but they nearly have sex with others (Mergenstein’s moment gets cancelled when the woman town leader is called into a critical meeting, and Tubitz kills her date (turns out he was an assassin)). But it’s a tricky topic. I don’t want to hinge a book about a man-woman relationship on a sexual fulcrum that might get yanked by the editor. If I don’t force myself to follow YA, then I can write whatever I want.

I’m so conflicted that as I wrote this, I convinced myself to not write YA, then to write it, then back again. Another idea is to handle is discreetly and then pitch it one way or the other.

I guess my major problem is that I wasn’t very good at being a teen, and I don’t hardly ever deal with them, so I have this Victorian viewpoint of them being little adults, which they are not. They are different. Just how, I couldn’t tell you.

And maybe that’s my answer.

>>>”EARLY RETYREMENT” ACTUALLY COULD BE “YA”; THE HERO HAS A VERY CHASTE YET INTERESTING RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS LOVE INTEREST. I DIDN’T EVEN GIVE IT A THOUGHT. SO, YOU “YA”S OUT THERE, HAVE A LOOK. I’D LOVE TO CUT THE RIBBON ON MY OWN AMUSEMENT PARK!<<< 

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 April 2015 07:36
 

Comments  

 
0 #1 Greg Wells 2015-04-24 09:10
My vote as a true fan, loyal reader: Think and do yadayadayada on the YA thing; Will anyone be reading Rowling 100 years from now? Will that theme park still be getting visitors 25 years from now? Write that from which you know; Think you have already answered the question.
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