"Old" People Writing for Teens V

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amlptj

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Good evening, all. It's been SOOOOO long since I've last posted here.

Short Moni recap: Got married, moved a couple of times, babysat FIL full time, was nearly burned off the planet, moved into dream home.....OK, up to date again....OH, with the exception of, have a total of 3 books on the market & am sucking at finishing the last in my series.

So, what's new with all of you??
congrats on the dream house and books.
 
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Omg, guys, I actually had an idea for a new story! It’s totally my thing, so if I can find a character to connect to, it might be a real thing. It’s been a long time since I had a new idea for a novel that wasn’t a sequel or based off a short story I’ve written.
 

Moni

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Omg, guys, I actually had an idea for a new story! It’s totally my thing, so if I can find a character to connect to, it might be a real thing. It’s been a long time since I had a new idea for a novel that wasn’t a sequel or based off a short story I’ve written.
Do you have some fave shows you watch on the regular? When I'm stuck for a character, I rewatch some of my fave shows & focus on the side players....sometimes, I wonder how to beef them up into a main character. If that helps??
 

Bookgirl2021

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Omg, guys, I actually had an idea for a new story! It’s totally my thing, so if I can find a character to connect to, it might be a real thing. It’s been a long time since I had a new idea for a novel that wasn’t a sequel or based off a short story I’ve written.
I had one of those a few days ago, except it's branching out from my norm--both genre and POV. It all started with a potential first line: "I'd always been taught my body is a temple. What they didn't tell me was that by my fifteenth birthday it would already be ancient, probably cursed, and definitely haunted."

What's yours about?
 
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I am probably ripe to rewatch old faves right now, since I’m not finding anything new that’s calling to me on my streaming services.

I thought back, & the last novel I finished that wasn’t a sequel or threequel was 2016. Actually, I wrote two(!) that year: Jack Frost & White Christmas (wow, I was winter-inspired that year).I know it was 2016 because I wrote the opening scene of JF was when my first niece was being born, & I went back to Ohio to write the WC novel for NaNo, & I remember musing that it was a shame I couldn’t vote there & have my vote be worth more than in California. So definitely 2016 (2020 was COVID).

I almost finished Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft, but I never connected to the characters (& really just didn’t know how to end it), & everything else has been a bust in that respect. I called on old ideas, I tried to take shorts & remake them, I even tried a fanfic one NaNo, but unfortunately the buzz I was feeling for it that September didn’t last to November.

These days, I feel frustrated by a lack of somewhere to write. There’s only so many times you can go to a cafe (& I haven’t found one to love in the area, anyway), & there’s no space in my house (which does not belong to me) that’s conducive to writing.

But I also haven’t connected to new characters in those intervening years. The old ones, definitely. I could write 100 books for Blake & Ren, & probably a ton more for Evie & Ace or Sunny & Jack. But I finished their arcs.

I had one of those a few days ago, except it's branching out from my norm--both genre and POV. It all started with a potential first line: "I'd always been taught my body is a temple. What they didn't tell me was that by my fifteenth birthday it would already be ancient, probably cursed, and definitely haunted."

What's yours about?
Ooh, intriguing line!

Mine, in its very infant idea stages: Superhero joins a reality show they believe a supervillain is a contestant in, but they don’t know who & have to keep their secret identity a secret amidst all the cameras.

I have no idea why I haven’t done a reality show book yet. I love the behind the scenes stuff. Yes, it’s a superhero book. Yes, I know they don’t sell. I know it intimately. I could set it at Christmas & just wash my hands of any pressure from making it saleable. That’s what I did last time I was in a rut :ROFL:
 
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Good evening, all. It's been SOOOOO long since I've last posted here.

Short Moni recap: Got married, moved a couple of times, babysat FIL full time, was nearly burned off the planet, moved into dream home.....OK, up to date again....OH, with the exception of, have a total of 3 books on the market & am sucking at finishing the last in my series.

So, what's new with all of you??
Blinkin' heck, welcome back! And congrats on the marriage, home, books, etc!
 
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MaeZe

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I'd like this to be a thing, too. Shame it doesn't seem to be. Maybe someday...
My characters are the age they are, no since fussing about the category. The youngest are 17ish and the older main characters are 19ish. The story takes place over a year so they advance in age. There are minor characters who are younger.

When the kids get into serious trouble the adults get involved but not because the kids are too young or not trusted. Rather it's because the adults realize they let things go too far without intervening, they realize the kids had been right and there is some guilt involved. I'm pleased with how it turned out. :)

I've had a setback with my health but now I'm back in query letter hell.

As for YA vs NA, goodness, it's not like kids all have a fairy godparent waving a wand that takes them from teenage to adulthood like a zipless fuck. (My apologies to those who haven't read Fear of Flying, not meant to be crude I just love that imagery.)

Not many kids enroll in college with magical "I'm an adult now" written on their foreheads. I say we create the genre if that's the story we've written/are writing and let the agents sort it out. Now that I think about it it gives me a query letter idea. :Thumbs:
 

MaeZe

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Ooh, intriguing line!

Mine, in its very infant idea stages: Superhero joins a reality show they believe a supervillain is a contestant in, but they don’t know who & have to keep their secret identity a secret amidst all the cameras.

I have no idea why I haven’t done a reality show book yet. I love the behind the scenes stuff. Yes, it’s a superhero book. Yes, I know they don’t sell. I know it intimately. I could set it at Christmas & just wash my hands of any pressure from making it saleable. That’s what I did last time I was in a rut :ROFL:
I love that idea! It's clever.
 
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amlptj

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yay for new ideas everyone!

Sometimes I just have too many. Too many ideas, not enough time to write. I have a spare folder on my computer for every time i come up with a shiny new idea. There are 20 in there. mostly stand alones, but two series. Had one a couple of months ago that would fit into my Universe for my other series.

It seems like most of my ideas come to me when im daydreaming and wishing the impossible. Like when i was sitting in morning traffic on my way to one of my worst most stressful jobs and i thought. I deserve to have a genie wish. And if i did... this would be what id wish for. Then my way too logical brain was like. "Why do you deserve a genie wish...." "Where would you get one." and by the time i got to my soul sucking job i had a loose trilogy all planned out, that really took a drastic turn from the genie thing.

Would call it Mysterious Ways Inc.
 

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When the kids get into serious trouble the adults get involved but not because the kids are too young or not trusted. Rather it's because the adults realize they let things go too far without intervening, they realize the kids had been right and there is some guilt involved. I'm pleased with how it turned out. :)
That's great! Glad you're pleased with it. I'm almost ready to start querying too. The characters are 18, so on the older side for YA, but I hope it's OK. The (goodie) adults don't really get involved at all. They try, but the kids are miles ahead of the game!
I've had a setback with my health but now I'm back in query letter hell.
Oh good luck. I really struggle with queries 😱🤣
As for YA vs NA, goodness, it's not like kids all have a fairy godparent waving a wand that takes them from teenage to adulthood like a zipless fuck. (My apologies to those who haven't read Fear of Flying, not meant to be crude I just love that imagery.)

Not many kids enroll in college with magical "I'm an adult now" written on their foreheads. I say we create the genre if that's the story we've written/are writing and let the agents sort it out. Now that I think about it it gives me a query letter idea. :Thumbs:
Haha definitely. Certainly for the first few months of college, I didn't feel much different than I did at school. Best of luck with the idea!
 

MaeZe

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So um... I'm old and I write for teens. Am I in the right place? (Looks around trying not to seem like a creep.)
Bet I'm older than you as I found out most people in this thread are younger than me. I'm definitely not a creep. It's just the age I find I want to be storytelling about.

Love your little froggy avatar, by the way.
 
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I have just come to the uncomfortable realization that I need to add to the book I *thought I was done with. It weighs in at a measly 42K. What was I thinking? Well, I was thinking that some of the wildly differing word counts for YA were real. I've seen recommendations as low as 40K but that was an outlier. Apparently an outlier I chose to rely upon. Good news: I love editing WAY more than other aspects of the writing process. And I can already think of places for the manuscript to grow. Also, I'm meant to be getting ready for work atm.
 
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Definitely the right place!

42K is a little too thin for YA. You can be on the shorter side for contemporary, but I’d suggest beefing it up to over 50K if you can. I had a (mostly contemporary) book I wrote as MG in the 40Ks. Agents loved the concept, loved the writing, but told me it needed to be YA, & that included making it longer.
 
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amlptj

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I have just come to the uncomfortable realization that I need to add to the book I *thought I was done with. It weighs in at a measly 42K. What was I thinking? Well, I was thinking that some of the wildly differing word counts for YA were real. I've seen recommendations as low as 40K but that was an outlier. Apparently an outlier I chose to rely upon. Good news: I love editing WAY more than other aspects of the writing process. And I can already think of places for the manuscript to grow. Also, I'm meant to be getting ready for work atm.
We have the opposite problem. I'm trying to cut my word count by 10-30K.... its not going well at all. Rewrote 3 chapters so far trying to make them shorter... only got it down by like 5K...
 
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amlptj

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I got another personalized rejection today. Intrigued by the premise, liked the revisions I'd made (she'd seen the first 750 words before during a consult at a conference), but "not in love" with the sample pages. :gone:
I'm sorry BG.

I hear personalized rejection letters are considered the best kind of rejection letters you can get though.

Maybe try to rework the sample pages? How many pages/chapters were the sample pages?
 
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Bookgirl2021

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I want to say it was the first five pages. I've rewritten the first chapter  so many times already. And there was an editor who was in love with and oozed praise for them. She asked me to email her the full (that was my first full request).
 
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amlptj

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I want to say it was the first five pages. I've rewritten the first chapter  so many times already. And there was an editor who was in love with and oozed praise for them. She asked me to email her the full (that was my first full request).
Now that is a tricky situation right there. Such drastically different conflicting information.

In that case. I would leave it how it is. Might just not have been that agents cup of tea.

And I'm also probably very uninformed. But you can query to Editors as well? I thought it was Agent... then Agent gets Editor... then Publisher. You can just skip the agent all together?

See my perpetual problem in life, is despite all the good feedback I only ever seem to have the bad feedback stick with me. In fact if 12 people told me my writing was good and just 1 person said they didn't like it. Its like that one person is all that matters, and I'll perform mental Olympics, like you could not imagine, to convince myself the other 12 were lying to me. Moral of the story. DONT BE LIKE ME! Let the rejection roll off and push forward. (I know probably easier said then done)
 
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