Category: Writing YA

Writing Gender-Inclusive Romance

Category: Writing Craft, Game Writing, Writing YA

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For more than a year I’ve been writing and story editing a dating adventure game called LongStory. At the start of the game, players select their avatar and gender, choosing whether they want to be referred to as “she”, “he” or “they”. We don’t write different dialogue or storylines for different player genders. LongStory is written to be gender-inclusive.

What does that mean? Well, gender-inclusive or gender-neutral means using language that avoids bias towards a particular gender. This might seem daunting considering this is a dating game that includes romantic storylines, but it’s not if you follow these three tips…

Click here to read the full post on WriteOnSisters.com


The Influence of Books on YAs

Category: Writing YA

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Have you heard of The Unslut Project? It began with Emily Linden sharing her middle school diaries online in a Tumblr page. It’s now a memoir and a documentary. Unslut is the all-too-common story of a preteen girl who was slut shamed and bullied. Lindin shared her story to reassure other girls suffering from sexual bullying that they’re not alone and this time will pass and their lives will get better. Definitely a message that needs to be heard.

The experiences in UNSLUT: A DIARY AND A MEMOIR are familiar to me, probably because like most women I experienced sexual bullying myself and witnessed it happen to my friends as well. But I was particularly struck by a sentence in a footnote on page 61 in regards to Lindin’s eleven-year-old self wanting to commit suicide: “So many different factors go into a child’s decision to end her own life, but one common thread is that, as children, we lack the understanding that life can get better.”

I stopped and read that sentence over, puzzled. Do children not understand life can get better?

Click here to read the full post on WriteOnSisters.com


Accidental Outdated Slang in YA

Category: Writing YA

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When it comes to writing for teenagers, the general rule regarding language is this:

Don’t use slang in your YA novel.

I abide by this rule, yet it’s come to my attention that I may be using slang accidentally! WTF?

Read the post on WriteOnSisters.com to find out what happened.


X-Rated: Should YA Books Have a Rating System?

Category: Writing YA

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Earlier this month I wrote a post called “Dropping the F-Bomb in YA Lit” and cited a study done by Brigham Young University that counted the number of swear words in bestselling YA novels. The results? There is cursing in most YA books. This sparked outrage from some and a nod to reality from others. But this study didn’t just start a conversation about profanity, it trotted out the debate about whether or not teen books should have a ratings system.

Click here to read the full post on Writeonsisters.com


Love in YA — The Problem with Insta-Love

Category: Writing YA

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If the interwebs are to be believed, YA readers are sick of insta-love – that moment when the heroine sees a cute stranger and decides immediately he’s the one! On Goodreads people have made “No Insta-Love” shelves and there’s even a Listopia “Young Adult Books Without Insta-Love.” So why is this trope still in so many YA novels? Well, it does have its pros…

Click here to read the full post on Writeonsisters.com


Dropping the F-bomb in YA Lit

Category: Writing YA

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At a writing conference the topic of swearing in YA lit came up. I was surprised some writers vehemently believed you couldn’t put the F-word in a YA novel. They claimed no agent or editor would publish it with that word (or even other lesser curses) on the pages. I looked at them in disbelief because I devour dozens of YA novels a year and encounter swearing in… well, I couldn’t tell them an exact percentage or which books, except for a handful that were especially profane due to the characters’ circumstances. The rest? I was sure they all had the odd swear word, but I had no stats.

So how common is swearing in YA novels? For the answer, I hit up Google…

Click here to read the full post on Writeonsisters.com