Books -- reading and writing.
Home, cooking, the weather.
And whatever connections I can make between these chapters of my life.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Real Y.A.?

Way back when I first had a glimmer that writing for kids might be something I loved, the first publication I subscribed to was the newsletter of the Children's Book Insider, Write4Kids. In fact, I still have many, quite old and well-read, back issues. Now a monthly update arrives in my inbox with some regularity and I read it when I have time, though I no longer subscribe to the actual newsletter.

So I'm a little behind the times with following their new 13-year-old contributing editor. Yesterday's email brought an update, and her article on "Keeping it Real" intrigued me.
(Being a huge, adult fan of Glee-- and I agree about Glee seeming like those kids aren't really in high school- this comment in particular makes me wonder:

I watch Glee. I like Glee. But it doesn’t seem like a show about a high school—perhaps a college. They don’t even really use slang—they just have pithy insults, usually said by the adult characters on the show. Although I like the show a lot, it doesn’t feel like it’s even about teenagers.)

True? Well, she's the teenager here. She sure knows her slang, and her point about getting it right, regionally, makes sense.

So if you have a spare moment today, click on over and share with me what you think about her take on teen slang.

One thought comes immediately to my mind. Be careful of the latest. What's "in" today is gone tomorrow, before your manuscript sees the light of publishing day...


Joyce Moyer Hostetter said...

I've only seen glimpses of Glee so no comment from me on that.

However one thing I've wondered regarding writing and slang is whether it works to use some very "in" language when the story takes place in a named time frame such as the summer of 2010.

Does dating the story give it a "historical" feel that makes the use of slang doable?

Augusta Scattergood said...

Oh, I totally think that's OK. Or I hope so! The problem is, to me, when you set something in the very recent past, you have to make sure your readers know it's that certain time frame. Otherwise, it could sound dated. And I guess the reason you've set it in the recent past would also be important to the language.

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead comes to mind.

Anonymous said...

It's so hard to do slang because the second an adult knows of it it becomes obsolete. One movie that did a great job was the sublime Clueless, which had its own made up slang and it was perfect!