Today I’m guest posting for Teen Read Week over at the super-popular Reading Teen blog with one of my recent rants on books for boys.
Am I flattered to have been asked? Absolutely. Though I’m feeling a mite vulnerable as the tone of the post they chose is rather pugnacious. It’s one thing to witter on about things within the more intimate circle of my regular blog followers, but Reading Teen has over 1,500 readers and I certainly can’t expect them all to agree with me. Feathers will be ruffled. But I also can’t change the way I feel about books for boys. And that’s the point I want to make here today…
Which of the many ideas swirling in your fertile mind is The One? The one that’s worth writing in a white hot rush during November, and worth editing over and over and over again until it shines? Which one is worth an agent’s time to read? And worth their time to sell? And worth an editor’s reputation to publish?
I hope not, because the answer is actually very simple. Write the one you truly believe in. Write the one that takes risks. The one that says something not everyone will agree with but which you can wholeheartedly campaign for during the years it takes for a book to make it to the bookstore shelves. Because it opens up a debate. It gets people talking about things that matter.
I’m not talking about writing a documentary, or a preachy novel. I’m talking about the best form of entertainment there is—an idea-fest of a story with characters who are driven to risk everything for their goals, their beliefs, and the people they love. No more anemic, limp-wristed post-modernism. Give me Romantic with a capital R. Give me a rollicking adventure. Create a revolution in your chosen genre. Change my fixed perceptions. Create an argument that will keep me debating the rights and wrongs and meaning of your story for years to come.
Aim big, fly high, write from a place of passion. If you do that, you’ll have no trouble reaching 50,000 words in one month.