Thursday, June 11, 2009

"What are Men to Rocks and Mountains?"

Although Jane Austen's Elizabeth was still unwed at one-and twenty, she was able to put her romantic angst behind her and find happiness in the prospect of a trip to the Lakes with her aunt and uncle.
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I just spent two days as camp nurse at Girls' Camp, and therefore had further opportunity to observe my chosen audience. The most important conclusion that I came to?

Although teenage girls may thrive off the attention of and potential romances with teenage boys, they seem so free and unrestrainedly happy in the woods far, far away from any teenage boy.

Hair was unkempt. Makeup was left at home. They wore T-shirts and boy shorts. There was much skipping and singing and hollering and absolutely everything was one hundred percent pure and essential themselves.

And although I want to write a young adult book with romance, I don't want my message to be boy equals happiness. I want my reader to close the book and feel good about who they are and what they represent.

7 comments:

  1. That's so funny and so true! I'm glad you want that point to be made. Why do we want boys so much? *banging head against palm* LOL I was so boy crazy when I was in school, yet when they're not around there's way less pressure. Interesting that you pointed that out. :-)

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  2. LOL! I love this post! And you're so right! We are super happy in the woods without any boys messing it up! LOL! Jenni

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  3. What a great observation!!

    So true, too! Even as adults, it's true. I went to New York with my sister and the times it was just the two of us girls was like that: very freeing and unanalyzed and silly. Around the boys, more controlled and restrained and careful.

    Capture both in your book, and you'll have the girls loving it for seeing themselves in the pages.

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  4. Good point Jessie, having been around mostly boys, it's interesting to hear about the another side.

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  5. Tara-I definitely think boy books focus way less on romance than girl books. Is it because the boys are writing the boy books and the girls are writing the girl books?

    Jessica-I was very boy crazy, too. In fact, I bet I would give you a run for your money on who was the most boy crazy.

    Jenni-Boys always did make things more difficult for us. And the sad thing is, they didn't know it. They went along with their meager little existence thinking so very little about us, they would be shocked to know what angst and confusion they caused us.

    Heidi-New York with a sister? What a good idea. And I really like what you said about the girls seeing themselves in the pages. So important.

    Patti-Since you have the 411 on boys, you have to give us all their secrets. My boy is only 2, and he's not much help.

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  6. I love this post. Thanks for sharing. I honestly agree with you. Boy shouldn't equal happiness. Girls need to be happy with themselves then let the boy just join them in the fun.

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  7. Great post! I just found your blog, so sorry for the late comment! I am writing YA as well, and don't want the girl to feel like the only reason she is living, is for that certain guy. There is more to her life than him, even if it feels like there isn't.:)

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