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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

Book Review: The Writer by Cristian Mihai

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Source: Cristian Mihai.net

Plot Summary (Taken from Amazon): Jonathan Fisher is used to being no one in particular. He is such a ghostly character that CCTV cameras won’t record him. The world doesn’t need him and most certainly doesn’t want him. What he doesn’t know is that his life is on the brink of transformation.When his father dies, he realizes one thing. Being invisible isn’t such a great option.

My Review:  One of the best things about this book is its honesty. Jonathan Fisher has the outlook of  a realist, but his worldview isn’t forced on the reader at all. Instead, he just tries to make the reader think about things a little bit. It may make the reader uncomfortable, but it is part of what makes Jonathan a compelling character.

Another part of the honesty that is touching is Jonathan’s many thoughts on writing. Anyone who has struggled with putting words on paper for a living or a hobby will be able to relate.

A few favorite lines are, “Writing is not complicated. It’s all about how much of yourself you’re willing to let the reader see. If you don’t sacrifice a part of your soul, then all you write will feel empty and cold.”

In addition to the honesty, the author’s writing style was enjoyable. In between the main plot of the story are short stories that are written by the character Jonathan Fisher. These short stories felt like parts of a giant quilt.

At first, going back and forth from the main plot to a short story was confusing. After a little while,  they were appreciable and just as entertaining as the main plot.

Furthermore, the author’s creativity with the plot was a pleasant surprise. The short stories mentioned above are a part of it. The other part is reminiscent of classic writer Nathaniel Hawthorne. It provided a nice twist in a seemingly ordinary story.

Overall, this book was amazing. I recommend it to anyone looking for a short yet compelling read and anyone who is a writer.

Written by Serena Zola

November 16, 2013 at 9:54 PM

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