Thursday, March 19, 2015

Whiny Girls?

On Sunday, I was talking to one of my cousins.  I enjoy talking to him about books because he’s the age group that most of my writing is geared toward.  It’s also interesting because he’s a boy, and so he has a different point of view.  He’s the one who recommended the Ascendance trilogy (I read the whole trilogy in a week).

I was trying to think of a book that he would enjoy, and I tried to recommend a few books that I’ve read recently, and he asked a question I didn’t expect.

Is the main character a boy or a girl?

Huh?  I know that I’ve read about boys not wanting to read books about girls, but I’d never actually experienced that before.  I told him that the main characters were girls, and he immediately dismissed the books.  Just because the main characters were girls.

His reasoning?  Girls in young adult books are ‘too whiny’. 

I’ve been thinking about what that means.  If it’s a young adult book, means the character is almost definitely a teenager.  How do you make a teenage girl realistic but not whiny?  Growing up, I feel like I was fairly whiny, and I felt the same way about my sisters.  Now that I’m not a teenager, it feels like they get whiner and whinier. 

Young adult books are about a character discovering who they are.  It’s less about the trials, and the overcoming, and more about determining how they fit in their world.  Growing up like that – it’s going to be rough, there’s going to be learning and overcoming.  And whining.  If there’s a character who never wonders what their purpose is, who never complains or has doubt, I don’t know that they would draw a reader in.  We want to read about someone with flaws.  Someone who isn’t perfect, who doesn’t have complete control of their lives.

But how do we create a character with flaws and doubts without turning off the male population?

Any thoughts?  Ideas?

Friday, March 6, 2015

I'm Still Alive!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything.  February was a busy month. 

I finally got through the roadblock in The King’s Councilor and the words started flowing.  Every spare moment I had, I worked on the revisions, and yesterday, I finally finished the draft.

I think I’ve learned more from this novel than I have from any of the other ones I wrote.  When I started Cassie’s story, I attempted to write without an outline, to follow the characters’ path as they moved.  Unfortunately, what I ended up with was a tangled mess.  I went through and figured out what didn’t work in the current plot, then rewrote it.  After that, I had critiquers go through it and tear it apart. 

I ended up scrapping about 70% of the previous draft, and I expanded it from 65,000 words to 80,000.  I’m really pleased with the changes that I made, but now that I’ve finished, I know there’s still a few more things I need to fix.  

But before I do that, it’s time to let it sit for a little bit.  I have a fantastic beta going through it as we speak. 

The question is: What now?

My NaNoWriMo group is going to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo in April, which gives me 25 days before the craziness begins.  Not really enough time to start another project, but I don’t want to sit back and wait the whole time either.

I also have to figure out what I’m going to do for April. 

That’s it for me!  What are the rest of you up to?