2010.09.30

(This post was originally written on 750words.com. It has been edited.)

Maybe 750 words will cooperate tonight. It says I only wrote 78 words last night, when I made the minimum. It just didn’t save. It did the same thing on the 20th. That’s the problem with the cloud. Sometimes it goes down. But, oh well. I had already broken my streak. Nothing to do but try again next month. Nothing to do but get back up off the ground and keep going. You can’t stop when things don’t work out. I get too attached to things like start dates and symmetry. Like 30 straight days doesn’t count if it’s 30 days over two months. It’s the same thing.

My first inclination would be to wait for the first of the month. But you can’t wait or you’ll never start. You’ll never do anything if you wait for the right time. I keep waiting to finish the research, to find the right title, to know how I’m going to write something. But that’s not how shit gets done. It only ever gets done by doing it. So I’m doing it. I have a new piece of paper with names and numbers and arrows and maybe a title. I’m gonna find a tack and put the piece of paper up on the wall. Then I’m going to start writing. Still vignettes, still tiny stories that connect, still ideas I’ve been turning over in my head that just might come together into one.

It’s suddenly become more YA than I ever expected I would write. I was always the kid among my friends who was reading, but I usually read at or just above my reading level. It’s cool now to read YA, as a twentysomething, the same way it was cool to read adult books when you were twelve. But I didn’t like VC Andrews then, and I don’t read it now. I read Archie comics, and then I read Sleepover Friends, and then I read those Canadian mysteries, and then I was reading poetry and the Beats, and Shakespeare, and working my way up. I’m still reading beyond, non-fiction books about things I don’t know enough about.

But YA was never something I expected to read. I always viewed the fans my age as the same kind of people who love sci-fi and fantasy. It’s so much more escapist than a regular contemporary novel. But after an aborted attempt at writing romance novels, I believe YA is a better entry level book. I just really don’t like romance novels enough to write them. I never read them as a kid, mostly because my mom never kept them in the house when I was a kid. The only time I encountered romance was at Kendra’s house, when we would skim them for the dirty parts, which I never remember being very dirty anyway. But I did read YA. I read it when I actually was a young adult. Which makes a lot of sense. I have an appreciation for it. But the biggest selling point is an epiphany I had last night.

Most people I know who get published are getting deals to write a series. I think it’s because of Harry Potter, and maybe Gossip Girl, too. But every book seems to have a built-in clause just in case it’s hugely popular, all of the sudden, it becomes a series. And that series becomes a movie. But last night, thinking about my favourite Sweet Valleys, it struck me that young adult book series are very similar to TV shows. They usually become movies, but they really should be TV shows. Because, unless we’re talking Harry Potter, which is very tight in terms of plotting, most books are just random stories existing in the same universe.

I had forgotten just how many Sleepover Friends books there are. And they’re all just random stories. There was that one about a house that the girls believe is haunted or criminals are living in it, then it turns out it’s the new location for a band’s video. Or somesuch. And the stories aren’t linear. We jump around, just telling the good parts. That’s like TV. If you really just want to write about a world and a group of characters and tell all kinds of stories, then I think a series of young adult novels might be good.