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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Writing Young Adult Fiction: A Chance to Do-Over High School

“You can tell what age an author got stuck in by what genre he or she writes.”

I think it was Lin Oliver who, years ago, said the above quote, right after she had introduced an author who had skateboarded up to the podium at a Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators conference. I remember thinking at the time, Uh oh. Then I’m still reliving high school!

The Do-Over Aspect
Although my teen years are but tiny specs in the rearview mirror, I love reading and writing Young Adult fiction. Maybe it is the Do-Over fantasy aspect. YA stories allow readers to recapture the deep emotions they felt in high school. Friendships, betrayals, first love, peer pressure — the highs and lows play out on the page. Adding paranormal elements — dragons, demons, witches, vampires, werewolves, gods and goddesses, amps up the stakes. Those who thought high school was tough, can read a paranormal YA and think, at least the Mean Girls at my school weren’t vampires.

Paranormal YA stories intoxicate with What if? I was well into adulthood before I became a shaman. But what if I could have commanded shamanic skills in high school? Would I have misused my magic? It would have been tempting to use spirit flight to spy on my secret crush. My high moral code might have justified my placing a binding spell on a bully, instead of placing a protection spell on myself. Then who would have had the karmic lesson to work on?

Maybe I am stuck in my teen years. Maybe the Teen Wytche Saga is my Do Over. Luckily, the company is interesting and there is always hope that Love and Good will triumph. How about you? Why do you love reading YA?

Copyright 2018 Ariella Moon
Adapted from"My Fascination With YA Fiction" by Ariella Moon, published on 12/9/13 as a guest post on Fly High Blog.

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