Tuesday, December 21, 2010

As these age things go....

by Stephanie

What can I say? With four days left until Christmas, my brain is admittedly floating somewhere near the ledge of the ninth floor window next to my desk. However! Before I escape to the land of fried desserts and chocolates more commonly known as my home, I wanted to pass along this great interview with Kody Keplinger. Her debut novel The Duff, is a contemporary young adult work that has received strong reviews since its release in September. But what is more notable about Keplinger’s career is that The Duff came out when she was only eighteen, an accomplishment that admittedly doesn’t happen too often. I guess the first thing that came to mind as I read this was the influence something like age can have on one’s writing. Certainly, being eighteen puts Keplinger in a unique position to write about common issues surrounding high school students. Which led me to wonder about the ways in which a person’s writing evolves over the years. Could you imagine yourselves being published, or completing a full novel for that matter, at age eighteen? Do you think your current work-in-progress would have the same feel had you written it during your teen years? Certainly I’m inclined to say no to the latter question, but I’m curious as to the nuances and evolutions you have found in your own writing styles and methods as time has passed. What do you feel is the same, different, etc?

So my parting gift to you this Christmas is the renewed mantra to continue writing, revising, and querying. It’s all an ongoing process that takes practice and dedication…but you already knew that. Wishing everyone a relaxing and productive holiday break, and I look forward to seeing your material in the New Year!


  1. That's an interesting point. I've found that my writing express much less anger compared to fifteen years ago. I believe the change is in direction proportion to my growth. I am growing, aren't I?

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  2. I wrote my first book when I was sixteen, and aside from falling into a lot of beginner writer traps, the subject matter was very different. It was more personal, more based in emotion than logic.

    I think the main differences I've noticed is that when I was younger,I had a tendency toward plots that sounded cool, but when I look at them now don't make much sense. I just didn't know enough to write on a lot of the topics I was writing on. I didn't understand the importance of research.

    I also didn't understand the importance of working out plots or editing or that writing went well beyond just the way words fall together.

    I've definitely grown as a writer over the past years, and I know I'll continue to grow. I'd say the most interesting difference I see now, though, is just that tendency to be more emotionally driven when writing. Then again, I was an emotional teen.

  3. I couldn't have written a novel when I was a teen. I only read adult books then, mostly classics, and those weren't books I could write, lacking experience in adult issues, having only high school level knowledge of history, and living in the 20th century.

    Ironically, now I write middle grade.

  4. I filled a lot of notebooks as a teen and, apart from the derivative and wholly illogical plots, I have to say the biggest obstacle would have been the fact that I was nowhere near serious and organized enough to participate in the query process much less the rigors of publication. I'm not even sure I'm mature enough NOW.

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