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Thoughts On Writing: What I’ve Learned From YA Fiction

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Ten years ago, I re-read The Outsiders for the third or fourth time and decided I wanted to be writer. Since then, I’ve read a lot of YA fiction and done some serious thinking about what kind of books I wanted to write. Now, I’m looking at what I’ve learned so far as an aspiring YA author.

  1. YA fiction is one of the best genres ever. There’s great books from the past and the present, a lot of sub genres, cool writing styles and formats, etc. For more on what I’ve learned about the genre, check out this Buzzfeed post I just posted using my real name: 14 Reasons YA Fiction is One Of The Best Genres Ever.
  2. It taught me that I love characters. Whenever I think about The Outsiders or any other YA book that I like, the characters are the first thing that comes to mind. Reading about memorable characters have helped me learn how to create my own.
  3. I don’t have to write what’s popular in YA fiction. Whenever I look at the best-selling and free Kindle books for teen fiction, they are almost always paranormal novels. I always wonder if these authors are jumping on the bandwagon or writing what they love. As for me, I’m going to stick with contemporary teen fiction because it is the sub-genre most dear to me. If my stuff becomes a best-seller someday, then that’s just a bonus reward.
  4. I don’t have to rush to be a best-selling author. S.E. Hinton got The Outsiders published when she graduated high school. I used to fantasize about doing something similar to her in high school or college, but now I see that just puts too much pressure on myself as a writer. I can’t be S.E. Hinton; I can only write like me.
  5. I don’t have to write a story like a standard story. It took me forever to realize this, but I hate writing stories in standard paragraph form. After I finish this prose story I’ve been putting off and working on forever, I’m going to learn how to write stories in verse. I love writing poetry and have completed a lot more poems than I have stories in prose. Hopefully this will be more exciting than hard!

Written by Serena Zola

January 27, 2014 at 5:46 PM

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