Monday, October 5, 2009

Finding a New Voice

I'm writing my current novel from the POV of a 16-year-old girl. Establishing her voice has been fun but challenging. Although I'm at 30,000 words so far, and definitely in the groove, I still find myself asking, is this the language my narrator would use? What is/should her vocabulary be? If her grammar is deliberately incorrect from time-to-time, will that be distracting for readers, insulting to teens, or feel real? I sent the first chapter to my 17-year-old cousin to find out if she thinks it's authentic. I don't think I've ever been so nervous about getting notes!

In the meantime, I'm really enjoying the Pardon My Youth YA book club at Skylight Books. So far, we've read:

  • The Messenger by Markus Zusak
  • What I Saw and How I Lied* by Judy Blundell
  • Rats Saw God* by Rob Thomas
  • Tyrell by Coe Booth
  • Fat Kid Rules the World by KL Going
  • For October: Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan

I also try to pick up at least two YA books whenever I'm at the library. This weekend I read Fly on the Wall by E. Lockhart (hilarious and wonderful) and Looking For Normal by Betty Monthei (more middle-grade than YA, and a gutwrencher).

*I read these two prior to joining the club, proving that YA's scope and appeal goes far beyond the shelf it happens to be categorized on.

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