Monday, December 6, 2010

Epic YA fail

Every year I go into NaNo with this thought floating in the back of my head: Wouldn't it be fun to write something my kids could read? Every year, around the end of week one, I again come to the realization that I just suck at writing YA. Sorry kids, you'll have to wait until your order to read my stuff.

It turns out that everything I write sinks into dark or lust heavy moments. NaNo 06 considered being about a girl far from home for about an hour. Then she was abused by men and gods, slept with a man, then a woman, then both. NaNo 07 tried very hard to be kid friendly, until the evil uncle got too lusty and started smashing puppies against the wall. NaNo 08 began as a silly romp through fantasy tropes but Bruce, the very hairy knight, lusts after every woman in the book. NaNo 09 gave up on day three when simple minded Joshua started killing everyone by accident. I had high hopes for NaNo 10, but alas, both efforts didn't work out.

Tyler sets out on his bike, wanting to escape his crappy homelife and his depressed mother. Yes, you might remember this as my plan for this year's story, the abandoned bike by the side of the road. Well, ummm, yeah. I got it to the side of the road and everything was going along fairly well, but then... There was no and then. Everything I tried to come up with was too cliche or darn creepy. He's still sitting there in a park talking to a girl who might be dead. We may never know.

Tyler, a boy in the not so distant future, has come of age and is going to get his augmented pinky so he can access the datastreams flowing all around him. After he gets his finger hacked off, the doctors aren't so sure he's integrating sucessfully with the system. He's tagged for observation, and soon after, realizes that if he doesn't sync up with the data stream like a good little citizen, he's going to disappear. Scared out of his mind, he decides to run.

At that point, I'm enjoying this story. I think I've finally conquered my cliche or bordom issue with YA. And then it happens. Do I send poor Tyler to a mine, deep underground where all the miscreants of neat, orderly society are shuttled off to? He can join a revolution, help them rise up and expose the goverment for what it is. Happy ending!

Oh heck no, I want him and all the other misfortunates killed by the dark and evil AI who has taken over the goverment and turned all the augmented citizens into happy, compliant servants. Dark ending!

I tried the mine idea... and my enthusiasm waned. Poor Tyler. I tried. Really, I did.

There's always next year.


  1. Yeah, something tells me you're not a natural YA lady. S'okay, though. The YA field's getting a bit crowded these days. Your story ideas, as adult as they may be, sound pretty dang kick-ass.

    So I am a YA guy, and I've got two teenagers, and I can honestly say their feedback (when I can get them to read something I've written) is never very gratifying. It's always pretty much just a shrug, and then, "Yeah,Dad. It was good."

  2. Heh. Sounds like I'm not missing out on much then. In prowling blogs I've noticed that YA seems to be 'the' thing to write these days, but yeah, doesn't work for me.

    I get my happy mom moments letting my twelve year old read a few kid safe scenes when they come up. He either laughs a lot or gives me that 'uh that was really weird, mom' look.

    Thanks! I'm glad to hear that at least my stories sound good to an adult. :) Now, if only they would polish themselves...

  3. Not only epic fails, but hilarious, so you've got that going for you. You could do YA parody intended for adults.

  4. Hmmm, now there's an idea, Arc! I'll make a note of that in my ideas for next NaNo.

  5. Send any of those novels to me! I'd read them all, YA or no...I do commiserate with you about treading on the dark side. It's often I have to pull back a bit in my YA. *sigh*


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