Monday, July 9, 2012

When Life Hands You Lemons

You go to the store and buy lemonade. Isn't that the way it goes nowadays? We have so many conveniences at the tip of our fingers I think some of us may have forgotten how to *make* lemonade. I was thinking about this the other day. My six year old still doesn't know how tie his shoe laces. I'm pretty sure I did at his age. Not calling my kid stupid or anything, but it makes go 'huh'. With velcro shoes all the rage, it doesn't seem as important as it used to teach him how. Not that I won't. I will. He is going to know how to tie those shoe laces by the end of this summer if it's the last thing I do. But honestly, can you think of all the things younger generations won't need to do or learn because of how many advances we've made as a society? Not just with perfecting the art of making velcro shoes, but with computers, internet, cell phones. It amazes me.

As a writer I have to take these things into consideration as I put them in my writing. Some of things my character's are doing when it comes to technology, or even saying, as is often the case, aren't going to be relevant in the future. While I was working on Fire and Ice I had my MC's exchange a few phone calls. Now remember, I started writing Fire and Ice way back in '08. I've since then deleted all those convos. Why? Because no teenager talks on the phone anymore! Texting is the name of the game, and if you don't do it you're totally lame.. Seriously, my little brother is four years younger than me and whenever he's around all he does is text, text, text. Every time his phone makes that dinging sound I want to throw something at his face. But that's what it's like now. People don't communicate anymore, they text, IM (hey, I used to do this too. I guess I'm not that old), facebook, tweet at each other (wha???Never thought back in the day that this would be a 'thing').

I guess what I'm trying to get at is, don't show your age in your writing, especially in YA. Kids are more observant than we give them credit for, and picky, and if your characters are calling each other and having real conversations that aren't face to face, they'll 'call' YOU on it. Don't be a mom or dad in your writing, be cool. Not that I know how to do that anymore. I'm not sure if I ever was, now that I think about it.


  1. I notice things like that a lot and try not to feel really old! You make a great point about not letting it show in your writing. Kids will know. I think sometimes adults don't give them enough credit.

  2. Yeah - they notice everything and the world really is changing so rapidly it's almost unbelievable!

  3. What a great point. This is one reason why I can't write YA. I really can't take myself to another mindset. It takes a lot of awareness and I admire authors of YA a lot for that!

  4. I've never thought of it in that light. I was just uploading some information that I had written two years ago. The thing about it is, I had written a texting conversation me and my ex were having when we met and when I typed it in my computer I thought about leaving it as a texting conversation but I changed the setting to the two of us sitting in her living room talking. Do you think that was wise of me?