Holy crap, I’m writing YA: Part 1

If you know me,  you know that I normally have absolutely nothing to do with YA. I don’t read it. I don’t write it. I skipped the usual YA phase and went straight from mid-grade books like Goosebumps and The Babysitter’s Club (which I was reading at age 6-9, for the record) to reading Michael Crichton and Anne Rice. I didn’t buy into the whole YA thing when I was at the appropriate age to be the intended target audience and now that I’m 27, I have never really seen the appeal.

Granted, I didn’t have what you would consider a “typical” teenage phase.

I went to public school up until grade 6. In grade 5 and 6 (I was 11-12 years old) I was a bully magnet. I had no real friends. (Although that fact didn’t dawn on me until well after we’d all gone separate ways. I was oblivious to the fact that these weren’t the kind of people who would have my back if I ever ended up in jail or whatever.) I was top of my class in grade 5 and in the top 3 in grade 6 because we were fiercely competitive and our grades literally fluctuated constantly within a single grade point that it was impossible to have a single definitive “top of the class.” I went home crying almost every day because I was bullied, and kids are assholes and every last one of them (the catty bitchy girls included, because GIRLS ARE THE WORST CREATURES ON THE PLANET) should’ve gotten a beating. (Had I been bolder then, I probably would have kicked the snot out of some of these little punks and spent more time in detention than someone with my GPA should have been.)

For middle and high school, I was home-schooled. I lived most of that time on a farm and in a rural area. I had five close friends, and I shared them with my younger siblings. We were a group, we didn’t have a posse or clique mentality because there wasn’t enough people to bother. (Although, all of my friends went to public school and complained about the usual high school crap, like bullies and cliques and all that shit.)

I started working a real job (read: a really shitty job) when I was 13, and I’ve never really stopped working since.

So as you can see, I never really had a YA phase. I also have some very strong and very unpopular opinions about YA in general, which is to say that I’m not completely wrong, but I have a few things I’ve noticed and a few opinions about the why of YA that I’m not ready to share here.

To be honest, I don’t really have any desire to relive my teenage years, and I’ve never heard of anyone living a life similar to mine except for maybe my siblings, and even then, things went differently for them.

So I’m not 100% sure why I’m even bothering to ATTEMPT to write a YA novel.

No, that’s not quite true.

I was offered an idea, and a chance to make this into a collaboration, and I decided to run with it. It was too good of an idea to pass up, and I thought “why not, how hard can it be?”

Yeah, I might be a dumb-ass.

As of right now, I’m sitting at 12,000/75,000 words.

Do you write YA? Do you read it? Am I an idiot? Leave me a comment. I wanna talk.


About kaikiriyama

I'm a writer. I write everything from shorts, to novels to screenplays and then some. I like comic books, ponies, zombies, pokemon, monsters, demons, vampires and mythology. I walk a fine line between badass, scary and girly. View all posts by kaikiriyama

2 responses to “Holy crap, I’m writing YA: Part 1

  • Candice

    I had a very similar life as you did (except for the farm and the job at 13). I jumped right into David Eddings and Michael Chrichton at age 11 and never looke back, unless forced to by school.

    Now, I write it. I read some (Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Chrysalids, The Giver, etc) when it suits and for research. I write it because I think it’s important to remind people like me that the crap that is Jr High and High School is survivable. It’s messy and hard and hurtful, but I came out pretty darn good, if I say so myself, and my readers should know that they will too.

    If I weren’t writing the kind of book that I would have liked to read back then… I don’t know what I could write!

    • kaikiriyama

      I can understand the need for it. I can understand the appeal for the most part. I don’t understand the appeal for older readers to read YA though.

      I read Harry Potter, and I would go back and read it again if my books weren’t in storage. I was also about 13/14 when the first book came out.

      I”m planning to keep going with these blogs about my journey into writing YA because it’s a real shock for me. I don’t write with an audience in mind and I feel like you HAVE to have that in your head when writing something like YA or NA. I can’t drop an f-bomb in the middle of a YA book, but I can have my hardboiled detective curse a blue streak if I really wanted to. It’s almost a step back for me, and since I was so not a typical teenager and I didn’t have what you’d call normal teenager experiences, I’m really having trouble capturing the essence of being a teenager. Which is another blog post in itself.

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