Monday, December 6, 2010

YA? Umm....No.

The winner of the weekend poll is this scathing post about the genre called Young Adult.

I've been blogging for about 2 1/2 years now and I've come across more than my fair share of writer's blogs. For the most part all of the writers that I've met seem to me to be passionate about what they write and very well grounded.

By well grounded, I meant that they don't go completely overboard and ga-ga talking about what they write. They treat their potential and/or current readers like they were responsible adults.

As an example: I write adult fiction that has all kinds of sexual flavoring added to the mix. I enjoy writing that type of stuff and I'm very comfortable in talking about my stuff in a normal responsible manner. I don't treat my readers like they were degenerates, so I don't talk to them like they were degenerates.

And I'm sure if you're a writer reading this, you would agree that to talk about your stuff with your fellow writers or readers in any other way beyond treating them as an adult is completely wrong.

So why is it that Young Adult writers talk to their fellow writers as if they were 17, hyped up on quadruple shots of espresso, and have a vocabulary straight out of Valley Girl high school?

During this year, I picked up a couple of more blogs written by a few YA writers (I follow one already) and the difference between the two is like night and day. Granted, the only thing that they have in common is they picked up on mine simply because they are developing a network of writer's blogs, which is fine by me.

Beyond that common denominator, there is a major reason as to why I friended two of them on Facebook and reciprocated following their blog and the other I didn't reciprocate following, don't want to friend her on Facebook and I get mentally sick whenever I visit her blog.

Being treated as an adult.

With the first two, no matter if I'm reading a blog post or a comment on Facebook, I'm always left with the feeling that I'm not being talked down to, that in spite of the type of genre they write for a living, I'm being treated like an adult.

With the other, it's like dealing with a member from the cult of "I". As in, "I do this," and "I'm doing that," and "Oh my god, I met the hunkiest guy at the latest writer's convention!"

Additionally, she talks/writes like Moon Zappa hopped up on crystal meth circa 1982 and believes like everyone is 17 you know. And for her fellow commenters, good lord I never realized that there were so many 30-35 year old women masquerading as 16 year old wannabes that write Young Adult.

In all honesty, I never thought it was possible to hate an entire genre, but after reading that particular blog, along with one called Query Tracker, which seems to have an overly heavy concentration of YA writers contributing to it, and some of the especially vapid comments that seem to contain the adjective, "Awesome!!!" in it, I will never, ever read any book written by anyone in that particular genre. I may buy it to support a fellow writer that I like (which I do already with others), but it will never be cracked open to have its pages sullied by my greasy fingertips.

How serious am I about this pledge? If someone put two books in front of me, with one being a YA book and other being the grossest most disgusting book in any genre you could legally buy in a book store (friends, Feral House Publishing puts out such revolting stuff. I should know, because I have a book from that company) and that has been known to give people nightmares, and told me that I could only have one to keep me company on that trip to purgatory, I would choose that second book.

Young Adult.

It ain't for the faint hearted.

Like totally.


  1. I only network with one YA author (so I'm not an authority to comment on this post) and she is tops.

    I do enjoy YA novels and the two I bought this year are among my favorite reads. I would consider writing in this genre.

  2. YA writers do seem to be really enthusiastic about their craft. I just skimmed a publishing headline saying something about YA being one of the few genres that didn't have a decrease in sales this year, or something along that line. It almost seems similar to the past chicklit frenzy, when that's all you'd read and hear in publishing news.

  3. David: I don't know, it seems that the majority of the YA authors I stumble across do talk like I gave examples of. But as they say, there are good exceptions to the rule and I'm very fortunate to follow a couple of bloggers who are YA writers and yet are very down to earth (I just remember one while I was typing this answer).

    Joanne: I would have to agree with you about the YA not suffering a decline in sales, if what my local chain stores carries for titles are any examples of. But man oh man, passion for anything taken to the extreme can really turn people off to a genre if you're not careful.

  4. R: I think that is the shortest comment that you've ever left here or anywhere else that I can recall. :D

  5. Awesome! Like, awesome, G!

    Seriously, do you think that some may spend so much time trying to get the voice "right" that they forget to leave it at the office?

  6. Mama Z: Fer shure.

    Seriously, I have no idea if they forget to turn it off but I know more than a few social workers who actually talk like that on a normal basis.

    I think it's prevelant to those who are Type A+ persons.

    Like totally.

    Annoying as all hell.

  7. passion is good. I have a theory on the other.

    When I was taking writing classes, they so stressed the idea of "identifying with your subject" that I wonder if those who gravitate towards YA are trying to stay 40 years under their age.

    Little is as painful as watching a 50 year old try to be "teen hip".

    I, by the way, stopped trying to identify with my characters after my dragon bit me.

  8. Darth: There simply has to be a happy medium about passion. I've read what other writers have to say about their own writing and the like, and while they're very passionate about it, they're also very well grounded.

    People who write YA for the most part remind me of the large segment of society who absolutely despises GWB, in that they have such tunnel vision for they're passion that they're blind to the fact as to how much they've managed to alienate anyone who might be sympathetic to their cause simply because they sledgehammer people to death with their viewpoints.

    As for me identifying with my characters, I used to early on, but now I simply shuffle around in my stories like Silent Bob.

  9. I've actually read some stuff I'm very fond of in YA writing, particularly most recently the harry Potter series. I've seen some blogs like the ones you mention and I do avoid them. I think it's the writer rather than the genre that can bug me, though. there's also subgenres within YA I'm sure. Sounds like the Tween girl genre/niche is definitely not your area of interest in reading.

  10. Charles: You're probably right about the writer and not the blog, but then again aren't most blogs simply an extension of the individual who is writing them?

    If you actually talk and act like your blog, than I either have a great deal of respect for you (like I do of my commenters and readers) or I have zippo.

    In this particular case, I have zippo.

    Don't get me wrong, I do have respect for the few YA writers/bloggers I do follow, simply because they don't come off like they're two decades younger/talking to their potential audience.

    I can safely say that 'tweens ain't for me. I can also safely say that most YA isn't for me either.

    I'm sure there is good writing, like you say, but that preconceived notion I have about YA will make it all but impossible for me to take a stab at that genre for many months to come.

  11. It does seem that some writers confuse reality from fantasy...and seem to start living in the worlds they create.

  12. Talon: It seems to me that YA writers are the only ones that do this.

    I've met other writers in other genres who although are very passionate about what they write, don't go all method acting on everyone around them.

  13. I'm not really into YA although I have read a few good novels. Interesting what you say G about 35year olds masquerading as 16year olds though - I have been gobsmacked how supposedly mature women over here in the UK have been behaving like adolescents over the reunion of the pop group Take That- gibbering on FB and such like. Unbelievable!

  14. Jane: I'll have to take your word about that particular pop group, but I can certainly understand how people can go absolutely infantile over things.

  15. Such a different post subject than I'd thought on the poll!
    Some young folks drive me nuts (my neighbors) but they're not like Moon Zappa...
    I'm only boycotting Friendlies...

  16. Snaggle: Sometimes surprises can be a good thing.

    I still come across adults at my job who talk like Moon Zappa. Incredibly annoying to listen to.


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