Saturday, March 17, 2007

Hey, there are a couple of interesting conversations going on in the kidlitosphere!

Your input is needed! Over at YA Authors Cafe, there is an open (and that means anyone can comment) discussion about what topic or subject matter is missing in today's YA lit.

What did you think I was talking about?

One reason to go add your two cents worth: because it's fun to talk about something we all love.

A second reason: some of the peeps involved with YA Authors Cafe are real, live authors. So what you have to say will be heard.

This is what I posted:

Well written real genre books.

It seems that the kids who read both adult & YA go looking for specific areas in the adult, and I think it's because they cannot find it in YA. (Not that it isn't there...but there isn't enough.)

What I mean: mystery. A straightforward, there's a crime, solve it mystery. No ghosts, just a real honest to goodness mystery.

Romance. In adult romance, there is happy ever after; in teen, your heart is broken. Part of that is, I think, the whole coming of age thing; but I do wish for more straightforward happy ending romance. And it's why I see teen girls constantly going to the adult romance section. They want the happy ending.

I'd also say humor; and while we all know humor is tough to write, teens come in and want escape but want it to be good escape. Especially humor for boys.

Thanks to Original Content for reminding me of the open discussion.

Oh! And another thing.

No, not that.

My friend Miss Pea has some dueling picture books over at her site: Who Is Melvin Bubble v 17 Things I'm Not Allowed To Do Anymore. What's most interesting is the one that the kids like better isn't necessarily the one that Miss Pea likes best... so you cannot say she's playing favorites in how she reads the books out loud. (Tho I guess if you REALLY wanted a book to fail you'd read it in a mumbly voice.)


Brian Farrey said...

In terms of your romance wishes:

how do you feel about an ending that's not necessarily depressing and tragic, maybe not the happy ending you were hoping for, but an ending implying hope that the happy ending you wished for could yet arrive?

Says the guy working on the rewrite of his novel.

Liz B said...

Personally, I love the "hint of hope" ending in a book.

But, in terms of strict romance genre, go to the romance section of your bookstore. Pull 10 titles at random. What's your ending? The couple together.

Yet, when we say "romance" about teen books, that rarely happens.

I'm not saying not to have that ending -- ack, double negative. Let me restate: Great ending. Ending I like. But, chances are based on that ending I'd be reluctant to classify it / booktalk it as "romance" but rather, probably (not knowing the book) as "coming of age."

Let's put it this way: If I went to someone and said, I want to read a romance, and at the end of the book the couple weren't together, I'd feel betrayed by the person who handed me the book. And while teens know that couples hook up & break up all the time, I also see the teens going to the adult section because it gives them that Happy Ever After.

Now, just because I'm ornery -- I think another problem here is that the adult romance implies or expressly states a "happy ever after soulmate" type of ending (yeah, we know that's all fantasy, but still -- that's the ending.)

Yet that is, I think, extremely hard to do for teens -- because we also know that the middle school or high school boyfriend/ girlfriend is not "forever soul mate." As a matter of fact (and now I'm going to get something thrown at me) I don't like romance that says a person lives happily ever after with first dating partner (its why I have an issue right now with the comic strip for better or worse).

So what's the answer for teens? I'm not sure. But I know it's possible; Sarah Dessen does it.

So I guess my question to you is: what do you think your book is? Is it coming of age? Romance? And (ack, while I don't want to know the ending) I think hope that it will work out with Mr Wonderful (ie Scarlet resolving to go after Rhett) is still within Romance as opposed to hope that love will come along someday, just not right now.

well, I'm wordy mcwordy today.

Brian Farrey said...

Once I figure out what my book is, I'll let you know.

Right now the words "train wreck" come to mind.