22 November 2011
Oh, so very very mad
But you see, my loves, I'm angry. I really need to just stop reading things on the internet, but for some reason I keep going. And as a result, found this article: http://ideas.time.com/2011/11/21/the-harsh-bigotry-of-twilight-haters/?xid=gonewsedit&google_editors_picks=true
Yes, you can see it in the title of the article. This isn't a diatribe about how much I dislike Twilight. I think most of you are well aware of that by now. One of the issues I have with the article isn't even in the article itself; it's in the comments.
In defense of the writing (which I've bitched about almost as much as I've bitched about Bella), someone had the ovaries to suggest that it's okay for the writing to be awful because it's "for teens."
I will wait for you to stop throwing things. Don't throw your computer. I have more to say.
I've read a LOT of YA in the last year or so. Some of my close friends write YA. Brilliant YA. Fun YA. Romantic YA.
And they write it well. Incredibly well. There are twists and turns that keep readers guessing. There are love triangles that are fabulously well done (Aiden/Alexandra/Seth from Half-Blood is one of my faves, the other being Zenn/Vi/Jag from Possession). One of my favorite recent romances is Alexi and Percy from The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker. There's fabulous writing. There's wit. There's lots of fantabulous goodness that rivals any adult book on the shelves.
So no. It's not okay to think Twlight's poorly-written prose is passable because it's written for teens. That's not okay at all. YA books should TRY HARDER because of their target audience. Teens are learning not only about themselves but about writing. Granted, I read adult-targeted books when I was a teenager. I actually wasn't aware of the YA section of the bookstore until a while back. I read the classics, and I read Anne Rice. That's actually part of where I learned to write and how I chose what I wanted my voice to be like. In the same vein, teens reading YA now (and there are a LOT of them) who look to start writing or enjoy writing are still developing their voices. They will read and absorb the authors' voices and prose and styles. Reading is how people learn to write. I personally think Tolkien was not a good writer. LOTR drags. But the characters and story are compelling enough to keep going. I hated Stoker's Dracula. To me, it was horrendously boring and a perfectly good waste of an ending.
But Divergent? Half-Blood? Percy? Oh yes. Give me those books. They're thought-out, clever, romantic (no stalking involved), and involve female MCs who actually push the action. Not every heroine has to be a clever, witty, kick-ass heroine. Percy Parker is not any of those things. She's shy and she's quiet and I love her. I identify with her. I don't require a sassy heroine. However, I do require a main character--male or female--who tries to change things. Who pushes the action. Who doesn't just sit around and mope when something goes wrong. Who is tofu. I promise I'll post on tofu characters soon.
Regardless of your genre, regardless of your target audience, regardless of your intent, there is NO reason for your book to be poorly written. None. You are not allowed to cop out.