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Posts Tagged ‘personal thoughts

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

Some Serious Thoughts On Halloween

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Even though I don’t dress in a costume or go treat-or-treating, Halloween has always been a favorite holiday for me. During this time, I like to watch fun Halloween kid movies and read at least one gothic novel.

The reason I love Halloween so much because it is the one time of year where it doesn’t matter if you’re “scary”.  All through October, you’ve got Tim Burton movies playing on television. Also, there’s the fact that everybody is excited about dressing up in costumes that may or may not be “scary”.

As fun as this stuff is, I wish we could take the entire month of October to learn to celebrate people who are deemed “scary” every day.

Some of those people include disabled people (esp. the mentally ill) and the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual,Transgender, and Queer community.

Every time there is a shooting, the words “mentally ill” come up in every article. All this does is stereotype and perpetuate fear. Next thing you know, we’ll be having witch burnings again.

At the same time, we’ve got everyday people and well-known people, who are disabled and are making a positive impact on people’s lives.

For instance, singer Mary J. Bilge conquered her depression and became one of the best singers ever.  Actor Michael J. Fox has Parkinson’s disease, but he’s still acting today.

An everyday example is a girl I’d run into every week while attending community college. She was in a wheelchair and she seemed to be paralyzed because only her arms could move. I can’t remember name, but I remember her kindness.

Whenever I saw her, she’d wave and sometimes asked how I was doing. Her good mood despite her circumstances made me feel good too.

When it comes to the LGBTQ community, they are also stigmatized and stereotyped. In some cases, they’ve also been murdered or driven to suicide.

Yet, like disabled people, many have impacted society. Some include singer David Bowie, poet Audre Lorde, and model April Ashley.

My personal favorite members of this community so far are singers David Bowie, Debbie Harry (from the band Blondie), and Adam Lambert, poet Walt Whitman, and upcoming rapper Angel Haze.

Maybe it’s because I commute to college, but I haven’t met many LGBTQ members in my everyday life.

The one gay girl I met and became friends with was in high school. We were lab partners and she kept me from puking at the sight of a dissected frog.  Not only was she nice, but she was cool because she was my first goth friend AND my first gay friend.

As long as you are a good person inside, it doesn’t matter how “scary” you seem to be. I wish more people would take this to heart, not  only this month, but everyday.

 

 

Written by Serena Zola

October 24, 2013 at 11:21 PM

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