If you read a lot of YA fiction you’ll be aware of tropes and character types that appear frequently in this category, like: the star-crossed lovers, the underdog who faces down the bully in the schoolyard, the mean girl who, once you get to know her, isn’t all bad. If you read criticism of YA writing there’s a fierce distaste for ‘insta-love’, ‘love-triangles’ and ‘the chosen’. In fact the 'special’ person selected by ‘fate’ for an impossible deed gets a lot of bad press.
There are plenty of cliched metaphors for describing the experience of writing a novel like climbing a mountain, running a marathon, giving birth (possibly to a gigantic watermelon) … basically anything long, difficult, marvellous and horrible (marvellous even while horrible), involving toil, sacrifice, endurance, uncertainty, self-doubt, obsession, wonder, discovery an
When I was about eight years old my folks told my brother and I that we were adopted (EIGHT! Sheesh! They did things different in those days). Now, I realise that for many people adoption is an issue fraught with … well … issues. I know it wasn’t easy for my older brother - he’s pretty Zen about it now but when we were little it was a painful subject for him. This was probably the more conventional response. I don’t think my poor folks were quite expecting my reaction: I think I let out a whoop of excitement!
Did you read Eli Glasman’s recent post on growing up orthodox? I loved it! And it got me thinking about my childhood exposure to matters of faith and how that tickled my imagination. Some of you may be aware that Spark came from a dream after a desperate prayer! (Read about it here) I could have woken from my dream and brushed it off as a co-incidence but I took the leap of faith to believe it was the seed of the idea for my story. A leap I’ll never regret.
This will be final post for Inside a Dog. From here, I pass the honour over to Rachael Craw, author of the highly acclaimed novel Spark.
I thought I’d end by saying a little bit about how my attitude to writing has changed since I’ve gotten published. At first, I was in denial about it, but if I’m honest, it’d been far more scary every time I step up to my laptop to write.
When I started writing, one of the things I needed to get used to was publicising myself. Particularly beginning an ‘internet presence’. I was advised that it was important thing to do, because it meant that I could be contactable. It also meant that I could have some control over how I was portrayed online.