Friday, 21 May 2010

Guest Post: Elana Johnson - Why I Write YA?

Why YA?

Okay, so Dolly asked me to expound on why I write YA. She pretty much let me do and say anything I want, so I hope you’re strapped in. Ha!

For me, I never dabbled in other stuff. I sat down to write, and all this emotion came pouring out. I was going through something devastating at the time, and writing helped those toxic feelings bleed out.

And when I went back to read what I wrote, I’d transferred my feelings to the most emotional creature on the planet: a teenage girl.

Ah, teen angst. Where would we be without it?

And that’s why I write YA. It just happened. And I’ve never doubted it or questioned if I should consider writing something else. I’m comfortable spilling my potentially screwed up emotions into my characters.

It’s a release for me, one I crave. And I don’t think it would work as well in an adult character or a pre-teen. Oh no. I’m all about the fifteen to seventeen crowd. They’re asking so many questions at that time. Feeling so much—about themselves, their friends, their girl/boyfriends.

And besides, I can do all sorts of things in my YA novels that I never did as a teen. I wasn’t what you would call rebellious, like not even at all. But I can live vicariously through my books, right?

Yeah, that’s what I’m going for.

What do you think? Have you tried writing YA? Is there really a more emotional creature than the teenage girl? Why do you write YA? Why don’t you? 

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  1. Thanks for having me, Dolly! :)

  2. haha- I think lots of YA writers live vicariously through their characters!!

    I think that is just the age that I still feel like I am in my heart. I still identify with those characters more closely than i do with the characters in adult books. That's my reason for both MG and YA.

    Awesome guest post. Thanks Elana and Dolly :)

  3. I don't write YA, but I do live vicariously through my characters.:-)

    I've never even attempted to write YA, but after reading your post I'm tempted to give it a try. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I love this! I'm such an Elana fangirl!!

  5. Awesome post Elana! I totally agree with what you said about writing YA ;o)

    Dolly, you rock, this series rocks. I love writing YA!

  6. And you do such an awesome job at teen angst. Why mess with a good thing, right?

  7. Elana,
    It was my pleasure.

    I have written sort of YA - one of my novels is where characters are teenagers for half of the book, but then adults for the other half. I must admit, I did love writing the teen bit (that's what's finished), adult bit is still waiting to be completed.

    That's great when you can identify closely with one set of characters.

    C R,
    Go ahead, give it a try. And tell us all about it. :-)

    Thanks for taking the time to comment :-)

    Thanks :-) You are so sweet!!

    You are absolutely right :-)

  8. I write first person, with the MC as a teenage girl. She goes through a roller coaster of emotions, and it's fun and interesting to be in her world.

  9. "Is there really a more emotional creature than the teenage girl?"

    Ha, Elana. So true.

    I love writing YA because of the landscape of emotions.

    Congrats on the recent book deal. :)

    Dolly: These segments have been great. Thanks so much for hosting them. Great job!