What Happened This Week: Odd Socks, Long Legs and Top Tens

I realise this is a confusing title for a blog post. Bear with me. Here are the things that have happened this week:

1) I got a uniform detention for wearing a pink sock

We have to wear white socks. But I regret nothing. (also odd socks are cool)

2) We did some awesome things with curtains at school dance

Image

Embedded image permalink

Yep. I have really long legs.

3) This week was Top Ten Week at The Loony Teen Writer

All through this week, I posted lists of top tens (or fives, in some cases!). Here’s what I wrote about:

Monday: my top ten pet peeves in YA fiction (featuring insta-love, stereotyping and more!)

Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday, and I talked about the top 10 books that will make you swoon

Wednesday: Wednesday is Loony’s Musings, and this week it was about why part-time jobs are awesome

Thursday: Emily’s grammar masterclass! The top 10 grammar mistakes I see the most

Friday: I posted the top ten things about been a teen writer (there are lots!)

Saturday: Write Life Saturday (new title for this feature), in which I told you guys my top ten places to find inspiration

This week I also made a new page on the blog, where you can read all about my current writing projects! 

What I’m reading at the moment: 

Image

 Yes, still! I haven’t got much further with it, considering I just finished The Fellowship of the Ring (phew!). At the bottom of this post is a poll for you to choose what I read next 🙂

What I’m writing: 

The Daisy List, 20,000 words into it

The Goldfish Shower, a short story about talking fish and floating dining tables

GIF of the week: 

image

Best part of school this week: 

Getting an awesome Shiny New Idea in legal studies.

Most interesting thing that happened: 

My boss’s daughter setting a packet of Tim Tams on fire

So tell me, blogglings…

I hope you’ve all had a fantastic week!

Yours loonily,

Emily.

Top Ten Things About Being a Teen Writer

Recently I updated my blog to include a page on my writing. Come and check it out!

There’s one thing in common with all those ongoing projects: all of them have been written, or thought of, in my teens. And even though there are disadvantages to being a teen author (like people not taking you seriously) there are many advantages as well:

1) It’s always good to start early

And by this I don’t mean mornings. Here’s my opinion of mornings:

image

If you like writing in the morning, though, more power to you. What I’m saying is that we have SO many years to perfect our craft, us teen writers – starting early is always going to be an advantage.

2) We’re experiencing it right now

Most of you, I’m guessing, write YA or MG. And because we’re teens, we don’t have to think back – we have everything accessible to us! We talk to other teens every day, and even if nothing we write as teens gets published, we can read it back and go, yeah, that’s what it was like.

3) It’s a really cheap hobby

You don’t have to pay to write stories, unlike sports or video-gaming (reading, however, is another matter entirely). Except emotionally when you have NO CHOICE but to kill a character but you love that character so much but…

ahem. Carrying on.

image

4) Things that happen to you get absorbed into your novels

For example, the Irish accents I’m doing at school (have I said it enough yet? When people get sick of it I’ll take it as a divine sign to stop). Bits and pieces from your teen life will make it into your writing, and enrich it as a result.

5) No pressure!

Most of you aren’t writing as a profession yet, so you can have a bit of a partay with it.

Dancing GIFS

(I love minions)

6) It uses valuable maths time

Except not anymore, since I dropped maths. But seriously, if you don’t like a class, daydreaming about stories is a great way to get out of it.

7) It helps in classes you actually like!

For example, English. And drama. And legal studies. And society and culture. And religion. And music.

Geez, it helps with all my subjects.

High Five GIFS

Go writing! I mean, seriously, writing is useful for so many things. And creative writing helps with problem solving skills, and builds dedication, and requires a LOT of work. I’ve learnt so much as a writer that helps me with other aspects of life.

8) You get to meet awesome online people

For example, my critique partner Cait *waves to Cait* I wouldn’t have met so many amazing people if not for being a writer, and as a teen, I think it’s even easier to form these sorts of friendships.

9) You can use GIFs without people getting all snooty

I don’t even need to explain this one.

And finally…

10) Voice!

This follows on a bit from one of my previous points, but your voice, even if it’s just finding itself, is going to be an authentic teen voice, because you ARE a teen.

So congrats, teen writers, on being awesome. Whatever anyone says, teens CAN be good writers. It just takes hard work and lots of gifs.

image

Top 10 Things I’d love to see more of in YA

Good morning/afternoon/evening/midnight to everyone. I hope you are well (if you’re asleep, you may ignore this salutation and continue snoozing). So far this year, as of the 24th of January, I’ve read 13 books. Woah! That’s a lot of books. 10 and a half of them have been YA (I say the half because Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is kind of between MG and YA).

Image

I’m having an existential crisis!!!

Anyway, what I’ve noticed already is that there are certain things in YA that never happen – things that I really WANT to happen (and who knows – I might write some!). Without further ado, here is my list:

1) More family relationships!

I finished reading The Key to the Golden Firebird by Maureen Johnson today, and loved the sisterly aspect of it. The only problem is that even in these types of books, there is usually a romance element. It’d be lovely to read some more family-oriented books without the smooching.

2) More diversity!

I want to read about all different kinds of people, not just cishet, white teenagers. Not that there’s anything wrong with cishet white teenagers (in fact, I’m pretty sure I’m one). I want to read more books like I Am J which, while having a fairly straightforward plot, is one of the few books I’ve read about a transgendered teen. I’d especially love to see more diversity in spec-fic books.

Image3) More childish teens

So I’m 16, turning 17 this year (HELP ME, I’M TURNING INTO AN ADULT). What I’ve noticed is that in YA books, people hardly ever seem to wear odd socks. They’re all about finding the perfect boyfriend or saving the world or something, whereas my biggest worry yesterday was snapping my glasses (although to be fair, it’s kind of distressing when you can’t tell your dad and sister apart). I want to see more YA characters with silly problems.

Image

At least Dobby shares my love of odd socks.

4) Books about friendship

I don’t see enough books where the main relationship is a friendship. This saddens me, because my friends are the most important people in my life.

5) School!

Okay, so maybe I’m in the minority here. But school is a huge part of my life, and not many teens in YA seem to stress about it as much as me. Which is why I loved It’s Kind of a Funny Story so much.

Image6) Interesting settings

I’ve heard a lot about Ink by Amanda Sun lately, and haven’t got around to reading it. Basically, it’s based…not in the US. BOM BOM BOM. But yeah, I’d love to read more books based in Asia, Africa and different parts of Europe (maybe with some good old Aussie settings chucked in as well).

7) Genre mash-ups

I’m a contemporary person, definitely, but I love it when different genres merge. Sci-fi with fairytale characters; futuristic books with old clothes and fashions. Contemporary books with just a hint of magic.

8) Boarding schools

I’m a sucker for boarding schools. I love the movie Wildchild, and Anna and the French Kiss, Looks for Alaska, Harry Potter and so many more. Boarding schools rock.

9) Books like The Book Thief

I love how literary The Book Thief is. I love the descriptions and Markus Zusak’s amazing way of telling a story. Soon I’ll post my thoughts about the movie, but for now I’m just crossing my fingers someone will write something just as amazing soon! Even better if they’re Aussie.

10) Awesome covers

So yeah, I judge books by their covers. Because they’re a marketing tool. That’s what they’re FOR. I love covers that are done well. These are some of the ones I love in contemporary YA:

ImageImageImage

ImageAren’t these covers awesome? I want more like these. And yes, I did use It’s Kind of a Funny Story twice.

And those are the top 10 things I’d love to see more of in YA (well, also other age groups like MG and NA, since some of them are a bit hard to place). What about you?