Thursday, June 23, 2011

Young Adult Lit and Finding Inspiration

I didn't read the article from Slate on YA lit, but my twitter feed was filled with angry authors, agents, and publishers who had. I haven't had much to do with YA since about middle school, just because it became too fast and too easy a read to be much fun anymore. I wanted more of a challenge, and thus moved on to things like SciFi and a tiny bit of thought provoking/philosophical stuff. When I saw the comments on how these ladies said it was for immature authors or took little to no effort, I was offended FOR the hard-working YA writers. I had a moment of, "Hmm, I want to write the most complex, in-depth YA book the world has seen, just to show these women up." 'Cuz I'm just that kind of person.

So there's my rant for the day. (Well, second rant of the day, actually, after this morning's WA meeting.) Moving on!

I think most authors will tell you that some days, inspiration is rather hard to come by. No matter how much you read or what you look at or where you go, nothing sparks that little train of thought that gets the ball rolling. The brave (or maybe just the less lucid) will even admit to anyone who asks that they're begging for the voices in their head to start talking again. These are the days when most authors, myself included, are positive that they need to check themselves in for Psychiatric help. (See? This is the part where Insanity is winning the battle. You're not an artist. You're a schizophrenic patient who's finally gone sane.)

I should probably mention, at this point, that many writers do indeed have "voices" in their heads. We like to call these voices "characters". Instead of spinning a tale of intrigue, or whatever nonsense we like to spew, we're really just listening to the people only we can see and hear, and recording their stories as they tell them to us. This does not make any sense to many people, such as my mother. My dad is also an author, but if we start talking about our characters like living, breathing people while Mom's around, she'll look at us like we have 12 heads. (It's highly amusing, actually. Sometimes we do it just to see her face.)

Anywho, I had a moment like this a short while back. As I tend to do when the voices shut up, I became moody and irrational. Finally, I decided something had to be done, so I spoke with a friend of mine and arranged a meeting. This particular friend, who shall remain nameless (just kidding, she's the ever-talented Rachel Wright), is an art major at JMU. I bribed Rachel with food and a promise of monetary compensation, and a few weeks later, I ended up with this!

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Qhuincey Ahislyn Isodora, stage name Qai. Drawn by Rachel in her rockstar persona, Qhuin is quite the character, and had been giving me loads of trouble. She isn't in anything other than super-rough short stories as of yet, but she was always sitting there, giving me the silent treatment and hushing everyone else when they were trying to talk to me. Like the grieving mother out for retribution (who, by the way, Rachel is drawing for me next. More pictures to come). Long story short--or, slightly shorter, anyway--I absolutely fell in love with this picture. Once she was laid out on paper and put in a place of honor or my writing desk, Qhuin finally settled down enough to give me cohesive stories through again.

So, now that I'm on to my novel in progress again (and everyone is positive that I'm thoroughly insane), it's back to writing! But I don't think I'm reaching my goal of 10k words tonight. That was a bit excessive to begin with, yeah? Thoughts, anyone?

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