so, i had fully planned to participate in the rejectionist's awesome humiliation "uncontest" today, which involves digging into your childhood/teenage diaries and posting your most embarrassing entries and/or sharing some of your first ventures into writing.
but after an hour revisiting my teenage angst, i have to say - OH HELL NO! NONE OF THIS CRAP IS GOING ONLINE! my journals are mortifying. i'm tempted to burn them.
but i did learn a few things from the exercise, and some of you who kept journals and who now write for young adults might want to give it a try.
observation - teen me thought mostly about boys, friends, Boys, theater, boys, family, BOYS, how to be popular and OMG BOYS!!
lesson - if i ever write from the POV of a girl, it should probably at least somewhat involve her interest in ...boys.
observation - teen me had decent vocabulary and grammar skills.
lesson - don't write down to teen readers.
observation - despite said vocab and grammar skills, teen me liked to write in short. choppy. sentences. sometimes the thoughts changed at lightning speed from one short sentence to the next.
lesson - pace! teens think fast and feel fast. writing for them should reflect that.
if you, like me, are well past the age of the characters you write, it doesn't hurt to return to that teenage voice and tap into those teen emotions. however, i will say - thankfully - my characters are so much cooler and more interesting than i was!
finally, one bit of youthful writing i'm not afraid to share is my first "book." (AKA 'a 3rd grader's attempt at plagiarism')
in fact, i already posted it here. <-- link! click it!