Monday, September 20, 2010

Why I Write Young Adult

Okay, so this is a new series I'm starting. No trifecta. #dangitall

Just me. I'm calling it my "Why I" series, and it'll range from writing topics to food to Why I Dye My Hair. Okay, that one is lame, but you get the gist.

Today: Why I Write Young Adult

So I started writing just after Thanksgiving in the year 2007. I never wanted to be a writer (I know, that's like a cardinal sin or something). I hated English. I took the AP test as a junior in high school for the sole purpose of being able to skip English as a senior.

I did not take English in college. I majored in Chemistry Education before switching to Elementary Ed, with a math minor.

That's like, as far from English as you can get.

So I'm teaching school. Raising my family.

Then something devastating happened to me. I won't bore you with the details. But I will say that I vanished. Became ghostly. I disappeared inside my pain. My days were gray. My husband would ask me how my day was, and I couldn't answer.

Because it was just another day and I'd made it through.

I'm sure we've all had times like this in our lives. And if you haven't, color yourself lucky.

So, I'd been living-but-not-living for about three months when Thanksgiving came around. Two weeks later, I'd be turning 30.

So I sat down to write a personal history of the first three decades of my life. And it was theraputic. I could get the yuck out in words.

When the personal history was done, I immediately started writing a novel. It was not something I knew how to do. I'd never looked at books as more than an escape.

And as I was writing my first (very terrible) novel, I realized that all the angst, depression, etc. inside could live on the page. And if it was living on the page, then it wasn't living inside me.

What better character to carry that angst, confusion, anger, hopelessness, mingled with some rays of light (I'm not all thunderheads and frowny faces), than a teenage girl? I mean, seriously.

So that's why I write YA (almost always girls). It's the perfect place for me to unload my emotional baggage. Betcha didn't think I was going to go there, did ya?

Well.

Why do you write in the genre you've chosen?

91 comments:

The Golden Eagle said...

I write mostly science fiction and fantasy; I suppose that's because I love science and I also like creating new worlds for the characters.

Adventures in Children's Publishing said...

Powerful stuff, Elana. Thanks for openly sharing this. I think you'd understand completely as a fellow elementary teacher why I write PBs. It's what I know and kids are what I "get"... most of the time ;)

Marissa

kellyhashway said...

I write middle grade and young adult fantasy. I love middle grade because it's such an awkward age--not quite little kids but not quite young adults. And I love young adult because that time of my life is extremely vivid to me. The fantasy part comes in because my imagination is always at work. I love new words and extraordinary things.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Some of what I wrote about helped me deal with my own stuff as well. Although I never intended to write YA - and won't ever write in that genre again. The age of Book I's character determined the genre. I just wrote stories I wanted to read. (Where was "New Adult" when I was writing these, huh?)
And I preferred writing from the male POV. Simpler and more direct.

SusanneWrites said...

I only started writing two years ago and it was also for "therapeutic purposes". I was trying to get over an eating disorder and writing helped. And suddenly I found out it was what I really loved to do. A lucky coincidence. :D
Great post!

Elizabeth May said...

I think it's great that you used YA to help you through life's difficulties. It's wonderful when one can use writing as a form of therapy.

I write YA because it's such a transitory period in a person's life. I just love writing about that juncture between childhood and adulthood - there's so much uncertainty involved. It's all about discovering identity. And that makes it SO full of material to write about.

Laura Pauling said...

Having an elementary ed background I never even considered writing for adults. And so far I've focused on middle grade because it was the truly exceptional mg books that stayed with me from childhood. But I'm not opposed to writing YA - my stories just seem to come out mg. Thanks for sharing.

Theresa Milstein said...

I'm glad you found a way out of the pain you were in. Writing is cathartic in many ways, though we have angst about where out writing is going sometimes.

I started writing YA by accident. Through a series of events, I wrote a middle-grade manuscript as a sort of challenge. Then I wrote a manuscript that wound up being young YA, ages 10-14. And then I just transitioned into it. Now I can imagine going back to middle grade.

Misha said...

I started writing because my characters wouldn't leave me in peace, but when my doldrums hit during university, I discovered that my writing is therapeutic too.

Tina Lynn said...

I write YA because I never really grew up. I blame it on not finishing HS. I went for a G.E.D. and split. No prom. No boy drama. I simply left high school too early. So, it's my way of experiencing the things I never really got to experience. And I write because it puts me in control. No matter what my characters go through, they'll get their happy ending.

Jen said...

I knew this idea would rock my socks off!!!! The series is going to be fantastic and I'm glad you decided to jump in and test it out!!!

I love to read those stories where authors didn't start out in english, didn't write since they were young, they just one day picked it up and it worked. Sometimes life is just that simple. :)

Matthew Rush said...

Beautifully said Elana!

Christine Fonseca said...

Love this post. And yeah, writing is very therapeutic.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

LOL. Those are my reasons too. Deep down, I'm still a teenage girl with the same emotions and insecurities.

I loved chemistry in high school (and biology), and hated English and physical education. Kind of ironic since I ended up with a physical education degree in university (plus a masters degree in exercise physiology) and now I write novels.

Renae said...

Great post Elana. Although I did love English in high school, I didn't plan to be a writer either.

A couple years back, when work got too stressful I needed an outlet. What can I say it stuck!

salarsenッ said...

So glad to hear you shunned English in school, too. I though it was only me. I loved to write back then--for fun of course--but hated grammar and I was the world's worst speller. My best friend was my walking dictionary. She was good at that stuff.

I write in the YA genre for the same reasons it seems you have--therapy.

Christine Danek said...

Same reason. I was in a bad place and wanted to do something that I loved. I had written before with no goal in mind and I thought my new outlet would be the same deal. Just to get stuff out.

I realized how much I loved it but this time I shared it. The outcome--this whole journey started.
I'm glad I'm doing this.

As for the genre--YA/paranormal/romance.
Why? My brain is still stuck in my senior year of high school.
Paranormal--I need to escape the reality of this world.
Romance--who doesn't love that moment of a first kiss? Plus, the fight for the couple to stay together. Priceless.
Have a great day, Elana!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Great post Elana. I never thought I'd write in school. I didn't feel creative at all. Glad I'm not alone.

I've always loved fantasy and picked up the Harry Potter books about 3-4 years after they started being popular. I started writing an idea I had and got hooked on writing. I love that I found a creative part of myself.

Bish Denham said...

Only three years and already with a book coming out! You are A-Maze-Ing! (Obviously smart too.)

Angela Ackerman said...

Amazing how far you've come in such a short time. But then this is just one facet of why we all know you're awesomesauce with dyed hair, right?

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

Ishta Mercurio said...

This is a wonderful post, Elana. I loved English in high school, but had had enough of it by the end of my freshman year of college. :-P So I majored in Dance and Theatre. LOL!

I write across all age groups, including adult, because... I don't know why. The ideas are there, so I figure, why not? I started with PBs, though, because that's what I read to my kids and it's what I'm most immersed in.

Ishta Mercurio said...

One more thing: I started writing in the first place because after almost 6 years as a full-time SAHM, I just couldn't do it anymore. I couldn't keep giving my entire life over to my family; I had to keep a little piece back for myself.

Jackee said...

Great insight into your writing life, Elana! I write MG/YA because that is what I like to read. Also, when I was that age, it was when I fell in love with books.

Happy Monday!

storyqueen said...

I have to honor the voice the comes out when I write...and for me, that is PB and MG. When I started writing (with intent to publish) this is just the voice that came out.

Shelley

Melanie said...

Wow, Elana. You and I have a lot in common. I too hated anything English in school and college. I too got my masters in elementary education and I too started writing YA after my own personal breakdown which funny enough occurred soon after reading the Twilight series (though I swear they are not related!), back in Oct. 2007. I had finally gotten a babysitter (doctor's orders) so that I could have some ME time, but then I didn't know what the heck to do with myself. So, I started writing. An idea for a story came to me and 6months later I had a 170K YA paranormal romance story complete (no, it's not about vampires or werewolves, I swears it :-)). That novel is currently trunked and I've just completed my second novel. The thing about writing for me (and specifically writing YA) is that it became an escape for me. It allowed me to disappear from the real world and live this fun intense imaginary one for a couple of hours a day where the emotions raw and the situations are limitless. I truly believe that writing has saved my sanity and made me a much happier and more fulfilled person, mother and wife.

Lydia Sharp said...

What is it about turning 30 that makes you go "crap, I need to write a book or something"? I started my first novel 2 months before my big 3-0. It was sci-fi.

I've since added fantasy, women's fiction, and YA to my genre list. Not just because I enjoy reading all of those, but because I enjoy writing them *and* the stuff I've written somehow isn't terrible. Didn't say it was good. Just not terrible.

My YA venture is the most recent, but it basically came about the same way the others did: I had a story to tell that wouldn't fit as anything BUT young adult.

So I tried it. And the results weren't terrible. :)

I'm currently working on my second YA novel and have ideas developing for a third. Same goes for my women's fiction (number two is in progress and possibilities for a third are creeping in). As for sci-fi and fantasy, my second sci-fi novel is stuck at 100 pages, relegated to the back burner for now. I haven't written any fantasy novels yet (just short stories), but I have plans to expand one of my novellas into a novel... if I can ever find the time.

YA is definitely center stage at the moment, though. It's just too much fun to write.

Christauna Asay said...

I write dark sci-fi as an escape tool. My life is not generally sucky, involving lots of chocolate milk and bright colored books. However, with four kids I'm looking for a way to not be immersed in poopy diapers and Elmo. Can't get much further away than writing about something that doesn't or cannot exist outside my head.

Tom M Franklin said...

when i was a kid i was in a children's book discussion group at our local library. i spent a lot of time in the children's section, staring at all of the books and thinking how incredible it must be to have written one and see your name on the jacket and spine.

as i got older and moved on to other genres, there was a part of me that still felt those MG book were some of the best, funnest books i'd ever read. when i became an instant father of a five-year-old we spent lots of time in our local library, finding picture books for him to read. at that point i started going back to some of my old favorites and re-reading them. not only did they hold up over the years, but they reminded me of my desire to write one myself.

then, as an elementary school librarian, i discovered there was still an audience for a well-written kids adventure. an eager audience, in fact. the wheels started churning in my mind to find Just the Right Story...


-- Tom

Jennifer Hoffine said...

My road to YA started in a flooded basement. Everything was in plastic totes except my high school stuff.

As I sorted through damp programs, movie stubs and notes from friends, I thought, there are a lot of stories here.

Julie said...

I write YA because of my time spent teaching middle school, but also because that age just connects for me. Also, other than the age thing, YA presents so many options as far as fantasy, urban, paranormal, post-apocalyptic, etc.

But I also write commercial fiction and will go the way my creative notions take me.

Great post!

Janet Johnson said...

I never really left YA when I reached that pivotal age, so I guess you can say I'm stuck by choice. :)

I didn't always want to be a writer either. But I was writing for fun, and I finally put 2 and 2 together.

E.J. Wesley said...

Glad to hear there are others who haven't been scribbling stories since they were 5! I came to the decision to pursue writing as a career a few years ago after I'd spent a chunk of unhappy with various other careers (counseling, grant writing, etc.).

Although I loved them, I could never channel my creativity for things like music, art, etc. I could do them in bursts, but to have a career in something you must do it every day, even when it sucks to do it. Writing was the one thing I found I could be creative at all the time, even if I didn't feel like it.

Speaking of which, I should probably quit blog trolling and get to it! Lovely post, Elana.

Patti said...

I think I write YA because that's when I fell in love with books.

Claire Dawn said...

I write YA because it's so vivid.

Adults hold it all in. We tone done emotions and thoughts to fit in with society. We ignore our hearts in favour of our heads.

And teens don't.

Tamika: said...

Elana, thanks for sharing this piece of yourself. Wow.

I started writing in 2007. I had no idea this would be the area that God called me to. And all the pain that I've either inflicted on myself or others could live on the page to warn and warm others that God is a restorer.

I'm looking forward to this series:)

Jennifer Shirk said...

Ah, so it's therapeutic. :)

I think I write rom comedy because I do LOVE a HEA and I like to be silly.

Sara B. Larson said...

It's amazing how many people turn to writing after enduring/or trying to get through a really devastating personal time. I've written my whole life, and most of my characters have been in the YA age naturally, it's just how it comes to me I guess. But I started getting serious about getting published after I also went through a horrific time and needed an escape, something to focus on and dream about and work towards.

Can't wait for the rest of the series!

Slamdunk said...

Thanks for sharing--Elana. It is interesting to learn how people find their passion.

Being just a blogger, I match a previous profession in crime-fighting to my current interests for well personal therapy.

Lisa_Gibson said...

Thanks for sharing a bit about your journey. It's interesting the paths that lead us here, isn't it. I started out writing one (I hope not too hideous) romance. I haven't had the nerve to go back and read it yet. The characters kept whispering their story to me and I figured I had better write it before I lose my mind. Then I had a great idea for a MG, that I wrote for NaNo. Shortly after that my characters and the story for my current WIP, a YA novel drifted into my head. I have several more ideas for YA novels in the future. I've decided I like the YA scene and want to hang out here awhile. Now if I can just get through the latest bought of bs in my personal life and get back to writing, I'll be all set. :)
Lisa ~ YA Literature Lover

Nichole Giles said...

Been there, done that, it's why I started writing too. Only, it's taken me longer than you to figure it all out. =)

C.E. said...

Writing truly is the best therapy for whatever ails, I think so anyway.
Wonderfully put!

Valerie Ipson said...

Seriously I'm writing a YA because that is the story that came to me...it's set in a high school so pretty much means YA.

Deep down I want to write Middle Grade because those were the glory years of reading for me. Reading was everything to me then. At about 16, boys and friends and school and church overtook my life and I didn't have as much time to curl up with a good book.

Jennie Englund said...

I wish I could know your Devastating Thing. I would share your sorrow.

While I ache for you that you had to go through it, I've been wondering lately if suffering brings us depth. If it's the only way.

Can you imagine your writing without any pain in it?

I don't know...

Kerri C at CK Farm said...

You have courage and a lot of HEART Elana!! Thank the cows that you resurfuced to write for us! Thanks everyone for sharing today.

I enjoy writing for kids not only because I am around them 24-7 and relate, but deep down I'm a big kid too :) (not to mention writing is my therapy too)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I enjoy science fiction and fantasy, both books and movies, so it I naturally write in those genres. I like the freedom they provide.

WindyA said...

It's incredible what some words on a page can help you survive, isn't it? For me, the writing was therapy too, and I had no idea how badly I needed it until I re-started. As for why I write YA? Well, what other society-accepted way is there to truly be 17 for the rest of your life ;)?

Nicole Zoltack said...

I write all kinds of genres but mostly toward the paranormal/fantasy side. Sometimes young adult, sometimes for adults, and I wrote a picture book story that I have no idea what to do with. lol But I'll read just about anything and I think that's some of the reason why I won't confine myself to one genre with my writing.

lynnrush said...

Great post. Thanks for sharing. I'm like you, Elana. I never planned on being a writer. Didn't start writing for publication until May of 2008. I didn't have a clue what I was doing until I fell into a crit group, found and attended a couple writers conference, and then accidentally finaled/won a couple contests. So, I figured I'd just keep taking the next steps to see what would happen.

Paranormal romance kinda chose me, but I love getting lost in the worlds I create. There's always something fun to dream up for conflicts, that's for sure!!

Thanks for this post.

Tere Kirkland said...

Glad to know that not even a Devastating Thing could keep you from becoming who you are today. We'd sure miss you!

I write YA because I never had such a selection in what books to read when I was a teen. Which is why I started writing. I'm glad I picked it back up. I've never been happier. :)

Em-Musing said...

My first finished manuscript was a dark urban fantasy.although it wasn't called that then, it was called horror. As a kid, I was told ghost stories, and my reading material was mostly Poe. I've grown up since to women's lit.

Shallee said...

I write YA for a lot of reasons, including my love for teens. I also love reading YA fiction myself. I write sci fi because...well...I'm a nerd. I'm very much a "speculator" and my speculations run to the weird and scientific.

Thanks for sharing, Elana. I love getting to know other writers and why they write what they do.

John Sankovich said...

I don't think mine is that complicated. I write because I want to entertain others. I like to think of fantastical situations to explore through my writing. Now I've lost both my parents already, just turned 30, and I do dip into those emotions at times when the story calls for it. But to me writing is something that is more of an escape of reality for me. Live my daydreams so to speak.

E. Arroyo said...

Writing for me was an escape. While delving into the lives of my characters i was in control. During my teen years it was the only thing I was in control of. And during the countless hours writing all my pain was forgotten. I was finally able to hope.

Great post Elana. It's nice to know I'm not alone. LOL.

Pam Torres said...

I wasn't ever a great reader, still pretty slow. I discovered that my problem is I love the sound of words and how they feel when they come off my tongue. Writing has always been part of me. As a teenager I often wrote my feelings when I wasn't running them out on the pavement. Running gave me an outlet for the angst. I had an English teacher in high school who turned me on to metaphor and symbolism (Grapes of Wrath) and I decided then that someday I would write a book meant something to someone, that created emotion and questions the way Steinbeck did in me. Still looking for the right genre, trying out several. I want to write something that makes the reader do two things, question their reality and feel something new. I'll let you know when I get there.

Jessica Carmen Bell said...

You only started writing in 2007??? Wow! Congrats on the uber fast success there!

I write a kind of mix between literary and women's (but of course I only say it's women's when I'm querying). I write for pretty much the same reason. If I didn't write all my feelings would get bottled up and I think I'd explode. I'm not good at verbal communication ... ugh ... weird I know ... but give me a pen (or a netbook) and I can express myself in a heartbeat.

paulgreci said...

The writing life grew on my slowly. But I write YA, the short version is because I fell in love with the genre while teaching English. I got to read hundreds and hundreds of great YA novels. It is the literature that I feel most at home in.

Patricia A. Timms said...

I love this topic. Everyone's story is inspiring at every level.

I've been writing in journals since age 7 and then all of a sudden this year I knew my journal entry was going to take up my whole journal. That's when the book writing came about.

I write MG & YA because now that I'm 32 I feel like I have a good perspective on those years of my life. (I'll do adult fiction when I'm older and can start understanding my life a little better).

Funny thing though, I tried to write from girl POV and everyone told me she was too harsh (aren't teen girls though) but my boy POV's come out better so that's what I am writing from now.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

You've found a circuitous route to YA, that's for sure. But it's that journey you've made, that difficult path you've trudged that will make your writing so much stronger and so much more powerful. Sometimes, it feels like a miracle, this writing thing, for the kind of impact it can have on us--for the writer and the reader.

I'm glad you found a way through that difficult time in your life. And I'm glad that you've kept writing. I guess you just never know what will ultimately lead you to your passion.

Regina said...

I write what I dream...no matter what it is. No matter what genre. If there is something in my subconscious that triggers it then that is where I relate in the story.

Everything I write starts with a small idea and festers into something manageable. Every feeling, emotion...all of it good or bad. I let it all out. It is my creative outlet. I journaled for over 15 years and it has helped me figure out that this is my true passion.

Elana Johnson said...

Thank you, everyone! I have loved reading through this, seeing what has driven other people to writing, hearing about your passions, etc.

<3 <3 <3

Angie said...

It's great that you found writing and became such a success at it! I write sci-fi because I love science and space. I wanted to major in physics, but I took college calculus and almost dies. I switched my major to English. Writing sci-fi is like the best of both worlds for me.

Jaime Theler said...

I write what I do because I have characters and stories and ideas in my head that won't leave me alone. I write because I refuse to live in a world without the magic of anything being possible, and all my stories have a touch of magic or something just beyond normal. I write so my imagination doesn't wither and die.

And I have to admit that sometimes I write because, DANG IT, I refuse to let my book get the better of me. (This is usually during the bang-my-head moments of serious revision.)

Angel-Star said...

poetic stream of conscience because that is how the muse in my mind speaks her magic words

thank you for revealing the why of why you write the way you do

Bethany Mattingly said...

I write in YA because I felt like there were so many different areas I could go into and yet, I could only pick a few. I can live out all of my frustrations, worries, and other paths I didn't take through my writing. My YA characters are always on the edge of a decision that will change their lives. I like living with them through those changes.

L.T. Elliot said...

That's almost the exact reason why I write in my genre, too. Except that I can't help but add in magic--thus, the fantasy part.

I'll never forget that talk we had, Elana. It truly helped me through a hard time and helped me take all that "yuck" and put it somewhere outside of me. You're way smarter than you know.

Cold As Heaven said...

I have no idea what genre I write, I just write. It's a cool hobby, nothing more >:)

Cold As Heaven

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Wow. You're right - I didn't see that coming. But you're also right about it being the best way to get rid of all that "yuck" in a healthy way. I write PB's and chapter books because they feel good; because they make my kids (and me) smile. Someday, I'd like to write a full-fledged MG novel, but I'm still too in awe of Brandon Mull to go there. LOL. :-)

Holly Ruggiero, Southpaw said...

Thanks for sharing. I write fantasy ‘cause I like to create my own worlds. I suppose you do this in any book but in fantasy you can … you know walk through walls and it’s okay.

Marsha Sigman said...

The voice in my head is an angry teenager 95% of the time. So I write YA.lol

T. Anne said...

Look at you girl! I LOVE the new picture! You are a beauty!

I love YA and I'll always be YA at heart, but for now I'm focusing in on women's fiction because I think at this point in my life I can tell those stories with more of a razor precision. I'm happy here.

Michelle McLean said...

writing is extremely theraputic. I'm glad you decided to pick up the pen ;-)

Krispy said...

I write fantasy because I like vicariously living in a more extraordinary world. Thanks for sharing this.

ali said...

Well, thanks for answering the question that I know you've been dying to ask. Why do I love you? Because of this. Because all of that beautiful, heart-wrenching pain DOES live in your books.

Meredith said...

Writing your story and others' can be so powerful. And I agree: writing about teenagers is a great way to hash out your emotional issues!

Carolyn V. said...

Elana, great post! Thank you for sharing with us. I started writing because I had something to say. Now I can't stop. =)

Jemi Fraser said...

I hear you on the vanishing act. It's hard to become visible again. Glad you made it.

I currently write YA Steampunk and I love it! I tried it because a friend was writing a Steampunk adult novel and the whole genre sucked me in. The character who popped into my head first happened to be 16 :)

Cinette said...

I write YA fiction. Probably because I'm still waiting for that day that I get my crap together and suddenly feel mature. 41 and still waiting...

Melanie Hooyenga said...

This is a great post. It's ironic how many people (including myself) who talked about despair today.

Lola Sharp said...

Thanks for sharing your story, Elana. I'm glad the gray days are behind you.

I write because I have always been enamored with words and reading and where the words transport me.
I mostly write for adults, but I do have a YA book inside me...it's been festering and niggling to get out on the page. It'll have to wait. I have WiPs to finish first.

*hugs*

Love,
Lola

Kelly said...

Thank you for sharing yourself with us, Elana!
I just love books. All kinds. So first I wrote picture books because I was immersed with them from teaching and then raising toddlers. Now I am writing my first mg. Maybe because I had been reading mg's along with my son as he grew older and also reading aloud and sharing mg's with my students was one of the highlights of my day when I was teaching.

Little Ms J said...

I love that you shared. Thanks for trusting us, lady.

Stephen Tremp said...

I write suspense thrillers. Perhaps because I try to live through my charaters. Jet setters with a ton of money getting themselves into life and death situations. Me. I'm just trying to raise my kids and make the family happy. Which is pretty exciting just the same.

Stephen Tremp

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I guess I'm still not sure where I fit in...I'm writing pb, mg, and a ya...my only publication so far is more like a pb level...I taught 3rd and 4th grade for about 15 years.

Thanks for sharing, Elana. :)

Clara Kensie said...

Thanks for sharing your powerful story, Elana. You started writing only 3 years ago? That's impressive! I also write YA. High school is such an amazing, confusing time. Straddling childhood and adulthood. Body changes. First dates, first kisses, first heartbreaks. Discovering the world, discovering yourself. The high school years have a huge influence on the rest of your life. I think most adults would love to go back to those YA years, either to relive them, or to do things differently (I would definitely do it differently).

I write YA because when I decided to take this writing thing seriously and actually write a book, a YA voice is what appeared on the page. It just comes naturally to me, and I can't imagine writing anything else.

Buffy Andrews said...

What a terrific idea for a series. I really enjoyed reading your post. It's raw and honest and full of emotion. Thank you for sharing your story, and I can't wait to read other "Why I" posts. Good luck with your new book. You should be really proud of all of your accomplishments.

Hannah Kincade said...

I write horror because I find the human mind, fear and imagination fascinating. It always surprises me what people will do when they're scared or faced with an unwinnable situation. The supernatural and otherworldly creatures are more of a catalyst because most things can be imagined. I want to bring in the unimaginable.

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Powerful post, Elana. I always loved writing, always had ideas in ym head but ignored them. Then came 2008. I had personal stuff happen to me too. I disappeared into myself as well. My family was worried.
I took an online writing course for fun. Then, towards the end of October 2009 the idea of my finished MS sparked. I haven't stopped since.
Now (in a weird way) I'm glad the bad happened. It's brought so much good into my life. :)

Liza said...

I have always written in some regard...for years it was long detailed letters to dear friend. In the end, writing allows us to say the things that are impossible to say out loud.

Liza said...

I have always written in some regard...for years it was via a journal and long detailed letters to dear friends. Now it is more. But no matter, in the end, writing allows us to say the things that are impossible to say out loud.

Heather said...

Wow girl, that's amazing, and brilliant! You're right, there is no better character to carry so much angst and baggage than a teenage girl. I'm so glad you found such a wonderful way to channel your pain and experience. You're so inspiring! I write YA because teens are awesome. Each generation seems to be more aware of the world around them and more resilient than the last. They are the future and that humbles me in a good way.

Donea Lee said...

I agree - writing is therapeutic. Very much so. Pen on paper never judges, can't talk back or play devil's advocate. It records the moment and preserves and can be flipped over to something fresh and clean. I'm glad it was able to offer you solace in a trying time in your life. :)

I'm, of course, everything that you described youself as not - in terms of writing. I did love English, I did study it in college, I have always wanted to be a writer. I'm still working on it... and YA fantasy has been my genre of choice lately. I think it stems from my bad habits of day dreaming ridiculous alter-egos and lives for myself and dwelling on memories of the good ol' days. I don't know how I forget sometimes that being a teenager was often a special kind of hell. Maybe that's what makes it so entertaining to read about?

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