I write YA books. Or...at least...I try to write YA books. Lately though, I've been wondering if I have the chops for this kind of writing. I mean, it's not like I was a teenager yesterday, or the day before that, or the year before that.
Basically, I have to use my memory in order to write like a teenager. Which is weird and scary and in some ways, non-authentic.
Am I a freak that I can remember what it was like to be a teenager really well? Some days, I still feel like a teenager. And some days those scars and stars I took on me as a teenager seem really... well... real.
So what are SCARS and STARS?
Well, this stems from a little belief of mine.
See, I think, essentially, that we are all exactly the same. I mean, if you look at DNA, every human is exactly the same EXCEPT FOR 1% of their DNA sequence. To be human, you have to have all those human characteristics, right? So where does that 1% come in?
Oh I'm sure a scientist could tell you exactly where that falls. But I'm not a scientist.
I think it falls under your STARS and SCARS.
Let me explain it this way.
I fell in love with someone when I was in high school. We dated for a couple of years...and then it all fell apart. Now I'm happily married. But there is this small sixteen/seventeen year old portion of my soul that still aches when I think about him, that still causes me to be nervous that I will run into him. That reminds me what it feels like to love someone and have them not love you back. That makes the heartache seem fresh.
So when I have to write about this kind of thing in my book. I use that SCAR to help me write.
I won't go into my STARS because I don't want to seem like a major BRAGGER. But... ahem... I have many of those STAR moments as well.
So my question is...'Is it enough to use your STARS and SCARS to write? To write true, realistic YA do you need to be a teenager, or have a teenager, or study teenagers? What do you think? AND do you use your SCARS and STARS to write?