Thursday, September 18, 2008

My voice is not changing

I've fretted over whether my novel is a YA (Young Adult) or an adult genre mystery since I started writing. I'm 68,398 words in and I still don't know. Populating it was a bunch of college students may or may not have been a good idea. I did learn recently that most YA novels are around 50,000 words...yeeks.

After lurking around a few author agent blogs I came across this fantastic advice from YA author Ally Carter, via Pub Rants, her agent's blog. Carter talks about how she's noticed that many unpublished YA writers are asking all the wrong questions. She talks about better questions to ask, and later discusses the good questions that aren't getting asked at all.

Carter's advice is fabulous and eye-opening, whether you're a YA writer or not. Please click the links above to see what I mean. I especially liked this part:

"Your voice is your voice is your voice. Period. And frankly, either you've got a voice that teens will enjoy or you don't."

Talk about taking off the pressure. I almost breathed an audible sigh of relief when I read that. It gave me permission to quit obsessing about whether I need to change my writing voice to fit this or that genre. It is what it is. That's not to say there isn't room for improvement--oh, there's room--but completely changing the way I write to sound like something else just won't get me anywhere.

I don't know Carter from adam's housecat, but she just took a rhinoceros-sized load off my shoulders and I'm truly grateful. And also inspired to check out her adorable-looking YA books.

1 comment:

Chad Aaron Sayban said...

I think that is good advice. Just write the best story you can. Good writing will find a home if you work at it. Kept to a general type (mystery, horror, thriller) and just write an engaging story. Every reader is different in what they like anyway. When I was a teen, I was reading Tom Clancy and Micheal Crichton - not exactly YA. No fretting - just writing! ;-)