It’s been about four years since my last visit to upstate NY because…well…other than family, there’s not there. This weekend, I had to make an emergency trip back home, and so far, it’s been…interesting. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to see my family again, but for some strange reason, my characterization radar has clicked on and it’s running at ninety percent, clinging to every word and mannerism my family has to offer, especially my nieces and nephew. Usually, it only runs at about forty percent because I’ve been around my usual NC haunts for so long that I tend to phase them out.
So far, I’ve spent a good part of the time hanging out with my nieces who are fifteen and fourteen and their friends who are around the same age. Just watching watching them interact is the most amazing thing ever. Their entire world revolves around school, and as you can guess, the gossip is rampant. Still, I like listening (and being included in, believe it or not!) because of the intrigue and infectious excitement.
I found out Jordan/Jamie (whatever his name was) wants to take my younger niece, Niece 2, to a dance, but she already knows another boy is planning to ask her. Heck, I wish my teenage years were this interesting. I swear it’s right out of some highschool TV show. Then, there was a story about the class clown who has part of his ear missing and acts a little off in the head. I also learned about the highschool “slut” who likes revolving-door dating. I pray she’s not sleeping with these guys seeing as she turns out a different guy every two days. Then, there was the story about Niece 1 snapping at some girl for running into her. Her words were, “Why don’t you watch where you’re going?! Are you blind or…ohmygod! I am sooooooooo sorry.” Poor Niece. She didn’t know the girl was really blind until she got a good look at her.
My nephew, on the other hand, no drama. Then again he’s ten and mellow just like his father, my brother. There’s a good chance he won’t have any drama for a while. He busied himself making paper planes and showing me his four-wheeler recharging in the garage.
You know the first thing that came to my mind about all this? Writing a YA novel centered around their lives. That’s like repellant to me. Although, strange enough, I think I understand the appeal of writing YA now. Heck, I’m a freaking adult and even I was drawn into their stories. I said to myself that I’d never write one because I don’t read them. Harry Potter and Scott Westerfield were about as YA as I got. Nonetheless, I’m thinking about giving a crack at it just to see if I can do it.
The weird thing is that people always say read a lot in the genre that you write. While that may be true, living with it doesn’t hurt either. IMHO, it’s your best source of information when it comes to characterization. The rest of the story is pretty much like any story because you’re dealing with plotting, pacing, etc. And seeing as my nieces wanted to read my book and I replied with an oh-heck-no, I just might have to chance writing something they can read. After all, I had written a couple of my bi-racial characters with my nieces and nephew in mind. Too bad, they won’t be able to read about any of them until they’re eighteen. Bummer. 😦
When I think about me taking on this particular task, I cringe. I never would’ve thought I’d write a YA and never wanted to, really. Then again, I never thought I’d write a romance either. Look how that turned out. 😆 But for my nieces and my nephew, I’ll do just about anything because I love them to pieces. Even if that means taking a chance with writing a YA.
Have you went against your grain and chance writing something you said you’d never do? Or has something in your life ever made you say, “I have to to write that”?