Guest Post: Writing For The YA Market By Larry Peterson
I thought I would simply give you my take on writing for the YA market. I have to admit that in writing for this market I am not sure where the cut off is between YA and adult. I am generally of the mindset that it falls somewhere between 7th graders and high-school seniors. Let’s face it, kids today have been exposed to so much worldly supposedly “grown-up” stuff from TV, the movies, print and electronic media and YouTube and who-knows-what when they surf the web. Many of them think that they know about “everything” when, in reality, so many of them are so emotionally immature they probably do not know what reality is or is not, especially when it comes to the world of sex.
I feel that writing for the YA market is not just about story telling it is also about being responsible to your youthful audience. There should be a sense of the finer human traits we possess like caring, camaraderie, loyalty, honor, and selflessness woven throughout the narrative. It does not have to be blatant, just subtle, enough for the reader to sense it and be impacted by it. You never want to be “preachy.” Sexual interactions between a boy and girl should be approached carefully and gently and never be explicit. The reader will get the idea without all the pronounced description. We are human beings after all with feelings, emotions and the ability to reason. I think it is important to show we are not just creatures primarily controlled by our desires but rather that we, as people, have the right to say “No” or “Stop” and in return hear back, “Okay” or “Yes” and that this type of behavior is honorable and deserves respect.
Let me finish up by saying that the YA level of writing should probably also be an enjoyable read for adults. I have found some great reads at the YA level and I would recommend that adults who have not tested the waters of this genre ought to “jump in.”
An historical fiction novel set in the Bronx in the mid-1960s.
Take a seven day journey with the five, newly orphaned Peach kids, as they begin their struggle to remain a family while planning their dad’s funeral.
They find an ally in the local parish priest, Father Tim Sullivan, who tries his best to guide them through the strange, unchartered and turbulent waters of “grown-up world.” A story that is sad, funny, and inspiring as it shows how the power of family love and faith can overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
About The Author:
Larry Peterson was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. A former Metal Lather/Reinforcing Iron-worker, he left that business after coming down with MS. He, his wife and three kids moved to Florida 30 years ago. Larry began doing freelance newspaper commentary after graduating from
Tampa College in 1984.
His first children’s picture book, Slippery Willie’s Stupid, Ugly Shoes was published in 2011. In 2012, his full length novel, The Priest and the Peaches was released and he is presently working on the sequel.
He also has a blog (http://www.ThePriestandthePeaches.com) where he posts weekly commentary. He lives in Pinellas Park, Florida and his kids and six grandchildren all live within three miles of each other.
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