The Sweetie Chronicles

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth

What Would A Teenager Do? (WWTD?)

I'm currently hard at work on the second half of my first act, which I call Sequence 2 according to Alex Sokoloff's movie structure. As for what's going on in my story, basically the world is falling apart. This strange virus has killed millions already, and they are predicting the numbers to raise to possibly billions dead by the end of the month. The news, of course, is still not reporting the truth. They are hoping to keep people calm and hopeful that a vaccine is almost ready. In truth, no vaccine is even close and most of the people who have the knowledge to develop one are just as sick as everyone else.

Writing about the collapse of society from a teen's point of view is not as easy as I thought it would be. I am constantly stopping to ask myself, "What would a teenager do?" If they were alone and everyone around them seemed to be getting sick? Would they board up their house? Clean everything with bleach hoping not to get sick? Lay in bed with the teddy bear they used to use when they were little? I guess every teenager is different, but since I'm writing this from the viewpoint of several teenagers, I have to find a way to get into their heads and figure out how they would react. I have to make it believable.

One of my worst fears is that editors and agents will say that I don't have a voice that suits YA. I'm so scared I'll spend a year on this novel, finally get it finished, and have it turned down by everyone because it isn't true to a teen voice. It's so hard to tell about these things when you're reading your own stuff. Maybe I need to find some teenagers who are willing to read it and give some feedback when the manuscript is finished? My critique partners all think it's definitely YA, but I'm still anxious to know what teens and editors will think.

I have to keep reminding myself that this is still just a first draft. I need to focus on getting the story down in the fastest way I can. Then, I will have time to go back and fill in the gaps. Fix the voice or the reactions if they aren't totally right. I will have the chance to fill in all those little gaps and make it the best story I can write. For now, I'll just keep asking myself WWTD?

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Sarra Cannon

Young Adult Indie Author

I always secretly wanted to be a cheerleader. And a witch. Now, I write about both. The first five novels in my Peachville High Demons Young Adult Paranormal series are available now in ebook!

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