I wanna write YA

Yeah. So there’s no denying that YA and books for teens are where it’s at these days. Everyone’s talking about the Hunger Games series and I bought a copy for my wife.

I started thinking about what makes this stuff so successful and then I started thinking about how much I enjoyed reading as a kid (and about the types of things I liked to read). And then I started to think that maybe why YA books are so big (Twilight, Hunger Games, Harry Potter, etc.) is that people are just craving straight up story telling. It’s pure escapism and reading for the sake of entertainment. Pure and simple.

It makes sense to me. Some of the things I read just bog me down with heavy themes or tricky story structure. It’s nice to read a straightforward, well told story.

And personally, I read so much for my job that when I read in my spare time, I sort of crave something just fun. So yeah, at first I thought it was all hype and cutesyness, but the YA thing… I kinda get it. (Though you’ll never convince me that vampires should sparkle).

What does everyone else think? Love the teen/tween book phenomenon or are you over it?

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About seescottwrite

I'm a writer and editor. I've worked for Writer's Digest, HOW and Popular Woodworking and have authored and co-authored several books including "The Monster Spotter's Guide to North America," "The Unofficial Hobbit Handbook," and "The Writer's Book of Matches."
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7 Responses to I wanna write YA

  1. Phoebe says:

    I’ve always wanted to write YA, ever since I was a teen. So I write stories the teenage me would have wanted to read. 🙂

  2. Michelle says:

    I like YA for a lot of the same reasons you mention, but I also like it because it plays to the imaginations of teens who have “the whole world ahead of them” and that theme runs through many of the YA books. Reading YA puts me back to those days when all things were possible (even if not probable). YA writing is to the point, no fluff – just story.

  3. LS Murphy says:

    Same here. YA is pure entertainment but there are some great YA novels which tackle issues with a more honest heart than adult titles.
    Another reason, I enjoy YA is the fast paced. There isn’t a lot of flowery description or excessive description. 🙂

  4. cyn says:

    There are YAs out there with heavy themes and tricky story structure, too. Really, anything goes in YA– like YAs themselves, it’s much more open to experimentation and crazy, out-there ideas, which makes it fun. I write YA because young adults are far more interesting than adults. Theirs is a time of firsts, and firsts are always more exciting than the been-there, done-that world of adults. Additionally, as readers, they are far more passionate about these stories, which is why blockbusters like Twilight and Hunger Games exist.

    And I don’t see it ever going away. As long as my publisher keeps paying me to write my crazy stories for them, I will never be over it!

  5. Maryse C. says:

    Totally agree with your reasons and Michelle’s. Personally, the books that have been the most important in my “reader career” are all YA books. We read them at such a crucial time… they stuck with us all our life.

    And it seems to me like YA books talk about the important things: friendship, choices, becoming who we want to be, living new experiences. Things some tend to forget when they grow up.

  6. Dana says:

    I am more interested in the art of writing than the business of writing. Genre is a categorization scheme to help facilitate the business side of writing, right?

    I would be more interested in a blog post that discusses approaches to writing for young adults. For example, model a piece of writing off a pre-existing work in that genre? The Hardy Boys? Nancy Drew?

    Well I’m dating myself, and writing mysteries in the vein of the Hardy Boys may not lead to big sales or even little sales. But when writing for the art of it, who cares if it’s salable or not?

    Is the point of writing or reading solely to establish our respective places in groups? For example, a response to reading something might be: I like this. Or, I don’t like this. I want to be a part of this. Or, I don’t want to be a part of this.

    Upon writing something, a person might wonder: Will they like it? Will they like me?

    Isn’t there some other way to consider writing?

  7. Ivanna says:

    I love reading YA and writing YA because the characters are much more innocent than adult characters, so a lot of their decisions are based on gut feelings, making their adventures fast paced, honest and exciting. I agree with one of the posted reply here too, that most of the things happening to the YA characters are first times, so it’s more interesting to see how they would react to their newfound situations. That said… I still don’t think vampire should sparkle and still believe turning into a werewolf hurt like hell 😛

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