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Writing YA with Isobelle Carmody

Recently I had the amazing opportunity to listen to Isobelle Carmody speak about writing young adult fiction and what the genre contributes to the writing industry. Not only does she talk with utter magic (seriously, every sentence could be lifted out of context and thrown on a ceramic mug for all writers to buy as bookish gifts) but also utter conviction about the importance of writing stories for the young adult audience.

She imparted a couple of tips for the creative process:

- “Every piece of writing should contain deep questions underneath that you are trying to answer—this is a deep approach to writing, and if you write deeply you won’t get bored. If you get bored, you’ll bore the reader.”

- “Approach your craft with a sense of humility and don’t be afraid to admit you don’t know the answers. A lot of what we write we don’t understand until we write it. The first draft is an inward journey. Editing and revising is how you uncover the reality in your own work.”

Sometimes I feel a little self-conscious for writing YA. For these doubts, though, she had the following reassurance: “The beautiful thing about YA is that your characters are on the verge of making decisions that will shape their adult life. Every choice sews the seeds of what they will become.” No other time in life is so formative and passionate.

See what I mean about being totally quotable?

What genre do you write? Let me know in the comments!

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