I like having new authors as guests here on the blog, if I think they may be of interest to my readers. Jeremy Shory is starting off his carreer as an author and has some Fantasy Young Adult reading to tempt you with! I hope that his guest post and the snippet from his first book in The Orion Chronicles.
Make sure to check out Jeremy's website and maybe even his book? I am sure you all have nothing to read and need something new ;)
More author guests coming up this month! Make sure you check in!
Young Adult Authors –
The Tricks to Writing for Young Adults…sorta
Young adult authors, lend me your ears. Good, now that I have them, you can buy them back for $10 dollars each. Lame joke? Yeah I suppose you’re right, but I couldn’t help myself. Plus it’s not like I’d get rich at that price…$10 per ear…in this economy? That’s the real joke.
So you say you wanna learn the tricks of the trade, huh? You wanna know how to write for young adults? Create a piece that really resonates with ‘em, a piece that transcends everything ever written for them before? Well you should probably look to the other guest pieces on Amber’s site for that. The most I can offer you is probably a few writing tips (like the difference between there, their, and they’re) and a coupon for a BigMac BOGO at McDonalds.
I kid, I kid. Now that you know my kinda humor, you know what you’re in for. No turning back now, you’re already a hundred and sixty two words in…yes I counted.
As I began writing my first novel, I did a lot of thinking, a lot of soul searching. I really wanted to know the meaning of life and all that it holds. After a long debate with myself on whether I was the chicken or the egg, I realized I was just hungry, so I made myself some lunch and then sat back at the desk to start my writing career. I knew writing for Young Adults was going to be something different, something unique, something challenging. So with that in mind, I’m here to tell you a few things I learned that might give you a shortcut on your path to lifestyles of the rich and famous. Okay there are no real shortcuts, but these are things I figured out in the process anyways.
Alright, you got me. Young adults aren’t really quite ready for all that stuff quite yet. At least not in all its graphic glory anyways. Let’s face it, when you think about the kind of things that are really jive with the hipsters these days, they’re things like Harry Potter, Twilight, and The Hunger Games. So here’s my Holy Grail of a tip – write a seven piece series about a forbidden love between a Human and a Vampire who attends a school intended for magic folk that hosts life-and-death games entirely designed for entertainment purposes. Ok, no don’t do that. That’s called plagiarism.
Getting back to the issue of How Much Is Too Much? for Young Adults. I’ll say I personally feel that today’s tweens (ages 10-12) and teenagers are advanced beyond their years. I don’t know, maybe they’re a product of their environment (I mean I’m even hearing cuss words in commercials nowadays). Perhaps it’s their upbringing (it’s debatable that on the whole, parents are more lenient and forgiving than say parents from the 50’s –the Cleavers come to mind here. And I’m sure they were looked at as being too lax compared to parents three decades prior). My point being is that I do feel that Young Adults need a little bit of that stuff to keep them entertained now, but only a little. They need a little romance, a little violence, a little bad language. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not dropping F-bombs all over the place in any of my work. In fact, the only curse word I’ve ever used in my writing is “damn,” and even that was a struggle for me to use. But it was fitting for the scene and I felt like today’s youth can handle it.
The key is everything really has to be used in moderation, and then scale it back a wee bit more. Use themes and words that could be considered a bit racy as literary tools to drive your story and keep the young reader entertained, not for shock value. This is not the audience for that. They don’t need to be reading your version of Werewolves having relations titled 50 Shades of Gray Fur. But there’s nothing wrong with using real life awkward situations of romance every teenager finds themselves in from time to time; do I use tongue with this kiss or no? Shoot I used tongue and she didn’t. What do I do now? That kinda stuff.
I hope this brief glance into my frightening psyche is able to help you in your endeavor to write for Young Adults. Don’t be afraid to go PG-13 with your stories, but refrain from obtaining an R-rating for your work. If that’s what you feel most comfortable writing, then perhaps you may want to revisit your target audience. Good luck. It’s a jungle out there!
In the middle of Gimmeth Alley, nestled behind the seedy Wolfsbane Tavern, a chubby man dripping of nervous sweat frantically cast his eyes in all directions as if searching for something, or someone. The light from the trio of moons, known to the locals as the “Sisters of Night,” did not touch this vapid part of the city, leaving it as dark as the brilliant precious stones found in the deepest parts of the Faynesma’ar River. He clasped his hands tightly together atop a rotund gut, barely covered by his tattered and torn clothes.
Most would’ve said this was the perfect ending to the perfect day, but he knew the kind of dark secrets the evening truly held.
“He sssaid thisss wasss the ssspot. I’m right where I’m sss’posed to be,” he whispered to himself in his snake-like lisp, while running his grimy hand through his short curly hair that resembled more of a shabby birds nest than anything.
The several days’ worth of stubble on his cheeks sounded like coarse sand paper grinding on wood as he fretfully pawed at his chin; his jowls were so massive they would make even the largest great white shark jealous.
The vibrant fireworks from the opening ceremony of the Frugg’al Games booming in the distance startled him as his attention turned to the other end of the alley; it was completely vacant…or was it?
Focusing his beady eyes, he felt the blood drain from his face as the object he was waiting for appeared before him. The influx of colored illumination from the fireworks brought prominence to the blackest of carriages sitting in the deepest recesses of the alley.
Reluctant to move, he focused on the jet black stallions pulling the stagecoach and fearfully shuddered as he locked on their blood-red eyes. The clop of the stallion’s hardened hooves against the cobbled alley startled the jittery man, sending a shiver to his soul.
He saw a well manicured hand slowly extend from the stagecoach window, motioning him forward. As he inched closer to the carriage, the flabby man began trembling. He removed his raggedy handkerchief from his back pocket; the sweat-stained piece of cloth served as a security blanket.
Being stout, it was hard for him to peer into the window, not that it mattered as sheer darkness was all he could make out inside anyway. He wiped his neck with the discolored rag.
Quietly, he squeaked out, “Yesss sire.”
A deep, sinister voice spoke from inside the carriage, “Have you completed what was required of you, Hortwangler?”
“Uh, uh, yesss sire,” he stammered from intimidation. “I did…jussst like you asssked sire, it’sss complete.”
“Was it done exactly as instructed?”
“Yesss sire.” He fidgeted with the dingy cloth.
“Good. Everything I’ve long planned shall take place very soon. You’ve done well for me, Hortwangler. I believe I’ve promised you a reward.”
“Yesss, the reward sire,” Hortwangler said, excitedly dabbing the bead of sweat falling near his brow. “You did promissse me a reward.”
The man in the carriage held a small red bag out the window, and the clink of the coins brought a crooked smile to Hortwangler’s face. He extended his grungy, hairy hands up as the bag was fleetingly tossed at him. He took a greedy look at the polished gold coins inside, which made his normally beady eyes grow almost as large as his smile.
“Hortwangler, it’s time…you must go now.”
“Sssire, do you not have any more jobsss for me?”
“No, and as we previously agreed, never speak of our arrangement.”
“Yesss sire,” Hortwangler said, turning from the carriage. He began to stroll away, counting each coin inside the bag. Once he completed counting, he cheerfully whispered to himself. “Tonight, I’m gonna get the good ssstuff!”
Suddenly, his eyes turned as pale as the three moons above and his teeth lengthened into pointed fangs, piercing through his wicked smirk. His fingernails became razor-sharp talons as he clumsily turned the corner of the tavern and was no longer in sight.
Perched atop the midnight-colored stagecoach, the driver of the carriage leaned down from his seat and asked the man sitting inside, “Sire, would you like for me to take care of him?”
“No, Petteway,” he replied, leaning back in the plush leather seat. “Hortwangler could still come in handy yet. When the moment’s right, I’ll not only take care of him, but I’ll take care of everyone…in both worlds!”
With a quick snap of the reigns, the carriage lurched forward, heading towards the heart of the enchanted city.
The people of Val’Terra knew nothing of terror and absolute evil. They would learn.
Jeremy Shory is an up-and-coming young author, looking to share his passion for writing with the world. He was born on July 6, 1984 and grew up in Orlando, Florida, where he was exposed to whimsical and fantastic adventures–often used as a basis for his writing.
His interest in fantasy began at an early age, and he has recently taken a special interest in the young adult fantasy genre. The idea of transporting the readers mind to a magical place and captivating them throughout an entire journey drives him to keep his imagination churning.
Find out more about Jeremy Shory and his works:
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