I think young people are perfectly placed to write about the experience of being a young person – even if their characters have lives far removed from their own, they can relate to that search for identity and sense of purpose, to negotiating independence from your family and relationships with friends. I think the core aspect of all novels, the part that makes the reader care enough to cry about made-up people, is the creation of characters with whom you can empathise. If the writer can’t empathise with the character, the reader won’t be able to either. Even though older people may ramble ad nauseam about how young people need Life Experience in order to write (what Life Experience actually entails, I continue to have no idea – are you not Experiencing Life prior to age eighteen?), I think the ability to write well comes down far more to your ability to observe, empathise, and read and write a whole lot. Being young and writing for young people puts you at an advantage because you are experiencing what your characters are experiencing right at this very moment.
From my guest post for the Queensland Writers Centre blog! So thrilled to be teaching the Young Writers Boot Camp this week at QWC, so I wrote a piece for their blog about writing for Young Adults and being a young writer.