Musings on YA fiction and projects left unfinished

I’ve been writing fiction since I was ten years old–for fun, serious writing, not because I had to for school or any other reason.  Most of it has been crap.  Some of it’s been okay.  I haven’t reached a point where I have a manuscript ready to send off to agents or publishers…but that will come sooner rather than later, I’d suspect.

Today, in the midst of cleaning the house and weeding out in the garden, I came across a few of my writing magazines that I hadn’t finished reading–this happens often enough, that I’ll get one of them and not finish reading them to my satisfaction and then they get shuffled someplace in an effort to get my mother to stop complaining about how everyone’s stuff is everywhere cluttering up her house (not going to offer commentary on that one).  So, at some point today I sat down on the couch and thumbed through an article from the May/June 2010 issue of Writer’s Digest that had YA agents and editors talking about the category — how to break into it, what they’re looking for, that kind of thing.

It got me to thinking a bit.  I’ve always written younger protagonists (there are a few notable exceptions, including several of the major supporting cast members in Epsilon and The Last Colony–heck, Adam Windsor is a PoV character in The Last Colony and he’s in his fifties–as well as characters in Fate and Second Chances and its untitled sequel…though I’m not entirely sure elves and dragons count as “older protagonists”), characters ranging from their late teens through their twenties.  In some ways, my characters have aged with me and in others, they certainly have not.

Paranormal and speculative fiction have become huge in young adult fiction, and that subsegement of the genre have yielded works that have transcended the age category (see: Harry Potter and as much as I hate to mention it, Twilight–Vampires do not sparkle thank you very much!).  To carry this even further and away from the article I read, manga, Japanese graphic novels, tend to have speculative, paranormal, and fantastic elements to them as a matter of course.  Manga is extremely popular in the United States–and growing in popularity all the time.

Which brings me to what really got me thinking–the untitled sequel to my D&D-inspired Fate and Second Chances already has two very strong teenage protagonists in it–Alysta Riverden and Kaelen Verrel–and could quite possibly be transformed into a YA novel.  It’s something I’ll have to think about, because the story as it stands right now (in its very early stages–there’s only about 23500 words of ramble to it) is planned to be about as much about Alysta’s father, Talasin, as it is about Lysta and Kael.

But it’s entirely possible, and could be fun.  I’ll just have to do some homework on it, and some thinking.  But maybe.  Just maybe…

…after all, high adventure does well, too.

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