March 19, 2012

Why I Love to Write About Teenagers: Part One

It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to write. As a reader, I like almost all genres. But my favorite books have at least one thing in common... strong, memorable characters.

After writing Depression Cookies, I realized I love young adult characters. They are this great hybrid... the curiosity and naivete of children but with the will and desire to grow up. So much there for an author to work with.

I also love writing about teenagers, particularly females, because I have the perfect specimen living in my house. It makes research a breeze.

My daughter wants so badly to be grown up, to be trusted and looked at in a different way than her two sisters, who are 10 and almost 7. Yet, she doesn't want to know too much, especially about the birds and the bees (although she'd die to know I called it that).

A recent exchange with my teenager:

Preteen daughter: I want to teach you to play this Sims Life game.
Me/Mom: What's it about?
Preteen daughter: You get to run your own life.
Me/Mom: I do that every day.
Preteen daughter: Yeah, but you get to make people.
Me/Mom: I already did that, too.

My daughter started gagging. She ran from the room telling me I was gross.

Such a contradiction... she loves this game because she can manipulate the life of her made-up character, but she doesn't want to know where babies come from. Too funny.

I'm calling this Part One, because I want to further explore this topic. But I had to share this story first.

Do you study people to write your characters?


Elise Fallson said...

Hahah! That made me lough out loud. I love starting the day with a smile and a chuckle. It'll be interesting to hear some of the things my kids will come up with then they get to be that age. They already come up with some pretty funny stuff. I should write it down.... Thanks for sharing this. (:

Unknown said...

Hi Angela and Tia: You've been chosen for the Sunshine Award. Hop on over and collect it, and then pay it forward.

Julie Glover said...

Teens make great protagonists because they're already in conflict. If story is conflict, teens are by nature pulled in different directions and having to sort out their lives. Plus, we all remember that time. The teen years stand out as a pivotal piece of life.

Andrew said...

LOL! That is awesome! I can see where you can get such awesome writing bits from that. :D

D.E. Malone said...

So funny and true! They've got one foot in their childhood and the other in the world of adults. Then they jump back and forth between the two, into whichever realm suits them best at the moment!

Tia Bach said...

Elise, I had to share. Of course she'd die to know I put it on here, so we'll keep that between us! ;-)

Julie, You said it so well. Seeing it from both sides (my own teenage years and now raising a teenager) makes it even more intriguing.

Andrew, Glad I could give you a chuckle. My daughters are quite inspiring. ;-)

Dawn, I know. It's tough. I feel for her, really. It's hard as a parent, too. I want to hold her and protect her from knowledge, but yet it's my job to help her grow.

Unknown said...

Ha! The SIMS conversation with your daughter made me chuckle. :-D

I get a lot of eye-rolling from my own teen when the topic of conversation starts getting a little too uncomfortable.

I love writing about teens, too, for the exact reasons you stated. And maybe because I'm still a teen at heart!

Sarah Tokeley said...

This made me laugh. Teens, so grown up one moment, and the next there are glimpses of the child they were, not so long ago!

Tia Bach said...

Melissa, I saw your post about your daughter liking Spirit Keeper. My tween is reading my book now, and then I told her Spirit Keeper is next. I'll keep you updated! I'm excited to read it, too.

Sarah, I know! I totally get it. I still feel like a teenager in my head sometimes. There are things I don't want to know about, stay in my protected bubble just like the old days. ;-)