Thursday, January 12, 2012

Making decisions about what to write

Every time I sit down to write A YA Story, I usually have some kind of an idea about what I'd like to write. Years and I do mean years ago, I wrote several stories for young children. One of these was nearly published. After working iwth an editor for nearly a year, she was leaving the company and asked to take my book with her. I made that decision and the book was almost instantly rejected. I can still remember that story and I still wonder if I made the right decision. Maybe someday I'll go back and try to recreat that story called Waiting For The Wind and another about a rooster who had laryingitis.

Writers often have to make decisions when they're immersed in a story. But one thing I've figured is that when writing YA stories I tend to write ones for the ages of my grandchildren. When the oldest was in her late teens I wrote the Jewels of Earda series where there were love interests. Intereste were there and maybe a kiss or two. Then my younger grandchildren started to head for becoming teenagers and I wrote about them and their struggles in the Henge Betrayed stories.

One reason I think I may be able to go back to the picture book stories is that now I've been given two new grandchildren ages 3 and 5. Perfect ages for picture books. So I'll sit down and attempt to recreate those stories. Why recreate is that the carbons I have of them are so old the words have nearly vanished from the pages.

Decisions about what to write. How about you do you write with specific young people in mind? How do you determine what kind of story you want to write.


  1. My first kidlit novel was written with literate kids 7 or 8 and up. I really made an effort to not write down to them. I took care vocabulary-wise but other than that I wrote as if I was writing for anyone. The result has been that adults are really enjoying it as well as kids.

  2. Sometimes my stories are based on my grandchildren's activites or pets or animals. I wasn't writing when my sons were still home. Most of the time an idea will come to me from someplace I visit, like Charleston, SC, where I heard so many ghost stories and had to write Listen to the Ghost, or Vicksburg, MS, where I learned how the citizens survived during the siege, which led to my YA historical Caves, Cannons, and Crinlolines.

    Once or twice a little voice has spoken to me, telling me something that sounded like a story. I don't consciouslly write for a certain age, just wait and see how it turns out.

  3. I wish I had the ability to write for a specific age or audience/person! My stories tend to be based on a character and a "what if?" kind of question and then the chips fall where they may. Maybe I'd have a bigger audience if I were more specific?!?