Don’t tell me what to write
I recently came across a Tumblr post with tens of thousands of notes that said the following “petition to make young adult authors stop writing about girls whose lives change when they meet a boy.”
My initial reaction was (as I’m sure what it would be for many authors): Don’t tell me what to write. If you don’t like what a book, that’s the beauty of books – there are always MORE. Simply set it aside & try another. Hopefully that one is more to your taste.
Once I got over my initial “YOU’RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME” reaction, I realized that the above post probably had more to do with certain tropes that are often found in YA Lit – specifically the whole “I can’t believe a guy like you would notice me!” trope. There’s also the “All women are lustful,” “All girls want bad boys,” “Distressed Damsel,” and the “Dulcinea Effect.” I’m going to stop here, because if I keep going someone will need to go into to TV Tropes in a few days and pull me out!
Now, if the original post had said all that that, I probably would have just kept scrolling on Tumblr a bit irritated (because I still don’t like the idea of someone telling me what to write), but not perturbed enough to say anything.
But it didn’t say that. It said, specifically “make young adult authors stop writing about girls whose lives change when they meet a boy.”
So, what I’d like to know is what is so wrong about writing about a person whose life changes when they meet another person who turns out to be significant in their life?
Whether it’s a boy meeting a girl, or a girl meeting a girl, etc, that’s what stories essentially are about: RELATIONSHIPS.
My most recently published story is all about a girl whose life changed when she met a boy.
It completely, utterly changed her life because of the love & acceptance he showed her, something she’d never had in her life before that moment.
BTW, it’s a superhero story. BTW, she’s the one with the super powers.
Ultimately it’s a story about unconditional love, and in my opinion, love is what gives any story its heart.
I’m not saying stories need focus on love, but I am saying I think love – whether platonic or romantic – gives a story depth and an emotional anchor.
So, no, I’m not going to stop writing stories about girls whose lives change when they meet a boy, or stories where a girl’s life changes when she meets a girl, or any combination you can think of.
I’m not going to write the stories anyone “tells” me or tries to “make” me write. I’m going to write the stories I feel need to be told. I’m going to write the stories that speak to my heart.
Need a copy of one of my books? As it happens you can buy them here.