Cardboard characters; worse in YA?

I’m pretty picky when it comes to reading fiction.  I don’t read trashy books for fun the way I watch trashy movies.  However when I read YA, I’m more open-minded.  Maybe because I write YA I want to get a broader sense of what’s out there.

I think it’s fair to say that in YA there’s more attention paid to plot than language.  YA readers are generally more interested in what’s happening than the way it’s happening.  But why all the 2 dimensional characters?  This is something that I do think kids are aware of.  When they’re presented with really well drawn complex characters they like them.  They say things like; “the book was very real” or “the characters were like real people” or “the characters were interesting”.  Young adults are highly attuned to authenticity.   Regardless of genre, regardless of how many trolls or elves or dueling balrogs you have in your story, you have to have Frodo or Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Bella Swan, or Katniss Everdeen.  It’s not just the story, it’s their story, and you have to want to tag along with them for 200-600 pages.

For every great YA character there seem to be hundreds of “popular girl cliques” or “sad fat girls” or”football player heroes”.   Are stereotypical characters more prevalent in YA than adult fiction?  I’m not sure.

Favorite YA or other fictional character?

Exciting news!

An essay I wrote was accepted for publication by Brain Child magazine! The piece is actually a short script; a parody of a desperate mother holding four renowned sleep doctors hostage until they tell her how to get her baby to sleep.  I suppose it would fall into the sub-genre of autobiographical fantasy.  For more detail, you’ll have to wait until the Spring 2011 issue of Brain Child!

Rabbit rabbit?

Back in the day someone told me that if your first words on the morning of the new year were “rabbit rabbit” it would bring you good luck.  I’ve heard variations like “white rabbit” work too.  As a kid I always tried to start my new year this way.

For a while “rabbit rabbit” was eclipsed by “Ugh my head hurts”.

This year’s first words for a prosperous new year were “Rock, paper, scissors for who gets up with the baby?”

Happy New Year friends!