Song Stuck in My Head: “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” by the Darkness. The highest of high notes are hit in this tune.
So, I’ve been thinking about characterization a lot more lately. After all, my WIP and I have made up (for now, grrr) and the more I write the more I realize how gaping my teenage characters’ flaws are. Which seems pretty ridiculous, since I am a teenager and all blah blah blah, but it happens. After all, a lot of us make the same mistakes.
For instance, unless it’s about the smoking hot supernatural being they’re dating, our YA characters just have no passion anymore. Which makes no sense - I mean, I can think of kids at my own school who get fiery about politics or world issues. Let alone issues right around them.
Or what about their passion for fun and hobbies, not counting sulking, reading/writing, shooting arrows, and pining after outcasts. Do you ever see any YA characters who collect stamps or model airplanes whilst during their YA shenanigans? Didn’t think so. Surely our YA characters could use more pastimes. Like OD’ing on Tumblr or Call of Duty marathons. You know. Normal teen stuff.
What about college? School and education is barely mentioned in my WIP, for good reasons. But it seems like a lot more YA leaves out academics for no good reason other than there weren’t enough pages. We all know the debate on how unrealistic the college process is depicted in teen novels - but why is that? Even having characters talk about which state college they’re applying to or break down in front of their school counselor might add a layer of reality to their stories.
Even the characters who do go to college, like in teen TV shows, rarely ever have a real career choice or major. Think of all the shows you’ve seen about freshman year…Dawson’s Creek, Gilmore Girls, Gossip Girl, 90210, One Tree Hill, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, That 70’s Show, etc. Can you name THREE of their character’s majors in college? I’ll give you a minute…back yet? Exactly. The I-don’t-know-what-I-want-to-do-with-my-life storyline is great, but at least give them some interests.
And lastly…family! I’m mad at how little of a role my main character’s family plays in my story. But that happens more and more too. Yet in real life, all my teen-aged friends seem to have family issues and drama every day. Clearly parents and loved ones should play an important role in a YA character’s life, even if they are out with their angel-werewolf boyfriends or fulfilling ancient prophecies. Maybe they give advice. Maybe they are overprotective. Maybe they just care. You never know.
Okay. That’s all. I’m writing this at night so…I’m going to go to sleep now. Another important part of being a teenager, of course.
(Though I really wish it wasn’t, there’s so much on TV right now…)