Sunday, September 10, 2006

Re-teenaging Myself (as scarey as that is)

Okay. I'm well over half way in book 2 of the paranormal YA series my daughter and I are writing for St. Martin's. This one is: THE HOUSE OF NIGHT, Book 2, BETRAYED. And I have to tell you - writing YA is definitely a different experience. I'm 46. Yes, that's 4 years away from 50. Five - Oh. Our heroine, Zoey, is almost 17 in this book. We're telling the stories first person from her pov. So I'm inside a teenager's head. In this book the sexual tension is really heating up - NOT inappropriately, trust me on this. But it's definitely there, especially because Zoey is Changing into a vampyre, and experiencing bloodlust for her human ex-boyfriend. Zoey's a virgin (not all innocent and stupid, though - she's not a moron), but a sexual awakening is going on with her. It's really forcing me to do some serious back-in-time remembering. True, my daughter and co-author, Kristin, goes through everything I write and she re-writes, being sure Zoey and the rest of the kids actually sound and act like teenagers, but I don't want to hand my daughter a ridiculous mess of totally adult emotions/reactions, or blank paragraphs with "KRISTIN, FIX THIS FOR MAMA" scrawled across the page. Plus, as an experienced author I like the challange. (And I like it when Kristin tells me stuff like, "Good job, Mama, you got that totally right!)

Anyway, for those of you who are aspiring romance authors, I think it's a good exercise to flash back in time (for some of you it might not be too far of a flash...) and write a scene or two about sexual awakening - I mean early stuff. Not a 25 year old who's losing her virginity. I'm talking 14-16-ish, before you're really clued in, but you'd like to think you are. I can tell that what I'm writing now is going to help me increase the sexual tension level in my adult novels. It's like an exercise in getting back to the basics. It's dissecting emotion and motivation. Give it a try!


Crystal Jordan said...

I can see how this would be a great excersize, but flashing back to my teenage years might cause a mental breakdown. Proms, pimples, popularity contests *shudder*

Kathy said...

I don't think I was ever really a teenager. I certainly wasn't interested in anything teens of my time cared about. Boys, whose dating who, popularity and sports. I found it all so tedious. I think I was an adult before I was chronologically an adult. That happens when you grow up the way I did I guess, so flashing back to teenage years for me would be an exercise in futility. I just don't have that frame of reference...and to be honest, given what most teens care about, that's a good thing.:-)

Jana Oliver said...

You're 46?

Sigh... now where did I leave my walker?

I had a miserable high school experience. I was definitely not amongst the 'in crowd. Years later, when I bumped into someone I'd definitely believed to be part of that exalted group, I made mention of the fact. She stared at me, shook her head and said, "No, I wasn't. I thought YOU were."

Perceptions are so skewed when you're in your teens. They don't get much better when you're older.