Friday, May 20, 2011

PROMing IT 2!!

Before I get to my post, I must announce the winner of Kari Lee Townsend's SIGNED copy of her MG hit, The Samantha Granger Experiment: FUSED. Sorry I'm late, but being sick for three weeks has thrown me for a loop.

The WINNER is: TRACY!! chosen by random.org.
!!CONGRATS!!

Being a children's writer in all three realms of young adult, middle grade, and picture books affords me the right to be silly. Serious and sincere. Then there's wacky and gullible, snarky and frank. And of course a wee little bit ornery. Teeny years through those awkward tween years and into teen years are a rollercoaster ride. Remember??

Do you?? Because it's okay to remember, to reminisce, even when all those memories aren't the brightest. They make you who you are and ultimately are part of what makes you the writer you are. Don't shy from it.

Today, I'm highlighting writing for a Young Adult audience focusing on high school traditions, specifically the PROM. Coincidently, I wrote a bit about this subject over on Oasis for YA on Wednesday, namely PROMing IT!! 1. I briefly explored the importance of embracing your personal experiences and using them. Whether you went to your prom or multiple proms, or didn't attend, whether you thought the prom was the most fantastic night of your life or the most idiotic way to spend a perfectly good Saturday, you DID have an experience. A YA experience.

Josh & Erica
Utilize those emotions, those scenes and smells, tastes and sounds. Remember your annoyance with the chick who wouldn't stop crying because it was senior year or the stupid jocks who came to the dance drunk. In one shape or form you can incorporate these, mix and match, tweak and shake-up some fantastic YA scenes for your young adult stories.

This past weekend, my husband and I hosted a prom dinner for our oldest son, his date, and their friends. Talk about your young adult material. Awesome stuff. They laughed and joked and did completely normal stuff. After dinner the six girls slipped into their dresses in our bedroom and the guys got all handsome in Josh's room.

They headed off to the PROM, making memories and growing with each moment...just as the scenes in our YA stories need to built. After the PROM, Josh and Erica came back to the house, snacked on some leftover dinner and dessert, and headed off to a party. Each scene was as natural as our YA stories must read.

We (or most of us) are adults, but we were teens at one point. Don't abandon that past. Use it. Now go write an explosive YA scene.


Any PROM memories you've tweaked or utilized while writing YA?     

23 comments:

  1. I haven't written a prom scene yet! ;) But I do remember being a teen and how I felt so I draw a lot on that.

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  2. I haven't written one yet, but I know they're in my future. Yes, good or bad or weird or whatever, memories of those teen years are gold to a YA writer.

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  3. That's great how you're getting to tap into your own experiences. And that they are going well for your kids.

    We haven't gotten to prom yet. But that's good advice. I have my daughter's friends over sometimes and I do try to listen in a bit to stay in touch with that age group.

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  4. Congratulations, Tracy! And no prom moments I want to remember...

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  5. What a cute couple in that picture! Is that your boy?

    I have written some prom scenes that were great fun to write. They haven't made it into the final version, since I changed the whole thing to "New Adult", but I'm definitely going to write a YA and get that prom scene in there!

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  6. I haven't written a prom scene either. If I get to write a sequel to my wip, then there would be one. Or maybe I'll write one for my next project. Actually, now that I'm thinking about it . . . . ;)

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  7. I used a prom memory for one of the short stories I had published. Definitely a good thing to pull story ideas from.

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  8. I think that's why so many YA authors are out there. We were all teens once; we all remember that murky soup of emotions that came with becoming an adult. Congrats to the winner, and great post!

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  9. Goodness. I think back to Prom and my mind is a whirl with the awkward mental dialog: "Shoot, I can't believe I just said that. Is my date going to get too serious because I held his hand? Come on fellah, get over it, dancing is FUN!! Ouch--foot. Maybe refreshments are a good idea..."

    Ah, vivid memories... I love awkward.

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  10. Aww look at them--and how cool that you hosted a dinner and all that jazz. Obviously they think you are pretty cool parents. GREAT post!

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  11. This is a great idea! And no, I must admit I steer clear of any memories of prom. *shivers* But you're right, all those feelings would be great to pour into writing!

    BTW, congrats to Tracey!

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  12. Wow...I'm going to cry when my son goes off to prom. Today! I have attachment issues. I just can't let go. LOL.

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  13. You make such an EXCELLENT point here, Sheri. We really do need to remember to keep scenes real. Great post. :-)

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  14. What a cute couple! I had a great time at my proms and I think a lot of the reason was because I went with guy friends and didn't have any drama to worry about - not that that makes for great stories. There must be tension and drama in YA stories!

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  15. Mmm. I haven't thought about my prom in years. It isn't a lovely memory. My boyfriend and I had just split up and I was heartbroken. That might be a great idea for a story, the cad. :)

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  16. Congrats to the winner!

    And, oh no, we do not speak of the prom. ;)-

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  17. Ah, they are so CUTE! That's the prom I wish I had. :)

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  18. I didn't even go to Prom with my boyfriend...I had plans to go with one of my best friends before I started dating my high school sweetheart. It ended up being a very interesting night.

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  19. Great photo, Shari. Now, I'm off to write explosive YA. Thanks. =D

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  20. Freakin typos... Great photo, Sheri! =D

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  21. Oh, this was a GREAT post - the whole prom experience is simply rich with YA material. Hmmm - might have to write a prom scene sooner than I thought...

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  22. what a nice thing to do--hosting a prom dinner! And what a fantastic way to do some sneaky research!!! :D That's such a great idea.

    Prom was sort of a blur for me, but I recall it being sort of surreal. But it's a huge part of HS! Thanks, Sher~ <3

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