Learning to Dream, One Book at a Time

The books I read as a child and teenager shaped my perception of the world and molded me into who I am today. From those books I learned friendship. I learned to dream. I learned love. I learned sorrow. I learned happiness. I learned that no matter what happens, as long as there are still books in the world, I will never truly be alone.

Hopefully the books I write will create that same sense of yearning for adventure in other children. Even if I don’t accomplish that goal, my writing brings me back to those days of discovery.

I like the freedom that writing fantasy brings. I am able to create new worlds from my imagination. If I write in familiar settings, I can twist the details to fit my needs, I don’t have to worry about being accurate to the exactitude of the setting, because things have changed to fit the demands of my story. I also really enjoy world-building. I’m complete pants at writing description, something I really hope to work on in my edits, but world-building isn’t just in description.

Creating a new world, one that young adults can relate to, begins with understanding the type of people that live in the world. It involves creating a world that is believable for the characters to exist in. It would seem strange to drop a medieval knight in Central Park just as it would seem strange to have cell phones in feudal Japan. When world-building, these are all things I have to take into consideration. I either have to design the worlds in such a way that these things seem natural, or I have to have an excellent back story for why they’ve suddenly appeared in that world.

I suppose another reason that I write young adult novels is that the story is less complex. There is generally a main plot with only one or two hidden agendas. It is easier for me to keep track of that sort of storyline than one that branches out in every direction. I want to write my story, not have my story escape from me until the point that I discover I don’t know where I was originally going with it any longer.

Maybe once I’ve written more, I’ll graduate to more complex novels.

Maybe I won’t.

Maybe I’ll find that those types of novels have a place in young adult literature after all.

At the age of six, Eliza was certain of two things. The first was that she had stories to tell. The second was that she had no talent for illustrating them herself. Talent or no, she still wrote and illustrated her first book, one that should be located and locked away if only to prevent her parents from embarrassing her terribly by showing it off alongside baby pictures. Now she spends her days writing stories that she isn't embarrassed to show off after a little bit of polishing.

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