So I’ve been out-of-sorts lately. In fact, I texted my husband yesterday and told him I was out-of-sorts. For the rest of the day, he texted me back, asking if I was “sort-of-in” yet.
“Sort-of-in” is a great way to put it actually. When I was on the migraine meds I was sort-of-in a fog. I lost a week and a half chasing words around my brain, only to have them fly away whenever I got close.
Finally I decided to take a break from the medication since it turns out I’m pretty miserable without my ability to catch words. Things have been better, and though I’ve had headaches ever since, none of them flared into migraines.
I'm preparing for a conference next week, trying to assemble all the proper tools writers use to try to sell their work. One sheets, synopses, proposals, hooks and one lines. These tools can be tricky. On the one hand it’s vital that an author be able to convey in succinct fashion what her story is about. On the other, it’s hard to boil down a ninety thousand word novel into a paragraph.
I’ve also done my homework, checking out agents and editors and what projects they're looking for. That prompted a brainstorming session with my personal novel doctor, my brother. Then yesterday, as I struggled to pull together the beginning threads of two story concepts, I realized why I’ve been so frustrated.
I’m not creating. It’s like I’m wrapping a ceramic vase carefully in packing peanuts, the right-sized box, and the perfect wrapping paper that will say to the intended recipient, “I know how to make a package look pretty.” But I'd rather be sitting at the pottery wheel, my hands covered in clay, forming that vase.
But I’ll get back to the creative process soon enough, and knowing that will get me through the polishing and presenting—the whole “I know how to use scissors, make a nice crease, and exercise restraint when it comes to tape” thing.
But since I’m thinking about trying my hand at a YA novel, I wanted to ask a question of the women out there. If you’re twenty or older, what draws you to a young adult novel like The Hunger Games or Twilight? Since many YA titles cross generations, I think it’s reasonable to find out what readers my age expect from those titles. Is it the nostalgia of teen topics like first love? The freedom from the boring responsibilities of adult life? The possibility of a more unique adventure than you might find in adult fiction?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.