Monday, August 31

Back to high school...Blatant honesty

As adults it's easy to stand back and view high school as something we are no long apart of. Something foreign and scary. Were we ever that young and carefree? Did we really do all that stuff? How the heck did we survive?? Hundreds of teenagers we don't know, cramming the halls, slamming lockers, cussing to their friends and enemies, complaining about teachers and parents. Acting like life's a beach and then you a wave.

But as authors for teens, it takes a certain something for us to step back into the chaos of high school. We can't just describe high school so plainly with what we think teens see through their eyes. We have to add what they could be feeling and we have to make it believable.

Sometimes I have to remember back to my days in high school just to reconnect with the YA reader. What I did day after day, weekend after weekend. How we talked and what we said. How I felt about this person and what it meant.

High school was often chaotic, filled with classes I had to take, not that I wanted to take. Teachers that made me feel uncomfortable. Only able to breathe when I was with my closest friends. Hanging out at parties I never had fun at all because everyone else was there and I didn't want to miss something.

High school was blatant honesty shoved down a teenager's throat.


So what's my point?

I like to try and write that into my books.



Alissa Grosso said...

It's funny, but if I had to name a movie that best captures my impression of high school it would be . . . Groundhog Day. It's weird that a movie that doesn't have a single scene inside a high school captures that mood for me, but what I remember from school was how day after day it was the same thing every day, 180 days of the same thing. It was mind numbing.

Well, and I remember having to wake up absurdly early (I am not a morning person) and then inevitably falling asleep in class, which is what happens when you try to make someone who is not a morning person abide by such an ugly schedule.

Yes, there were fun parts, too, but these didn't often happen during school hours. During school hours was the grind, day after day after day.

Wendy Toliver said...

One thing I've found interesting is which of my priorities when in high school still are a part of my life as an adult, and as a parent.

Sara Z. said...

Great post, Kelly.

Kelly (Lynn) Parra said...

Alissa, true! It was constant, same thing over and over. The only thing that separated it from another was the drama that was either going on with myself or one of my friends. :) :)

Wendy, yes, high school was all about growing up!

Thanks, Sara!

Lauren said...

Excellent post! It's true - there are some writers who just write ABOUT high school, about the characters and such. And then there are some who write how high school feels. And that's much more honest.

Melissa Walker said...

I love the writers who get the feeling right. Great post, Kelly!

blog backgrounds said...

I agree that high school was a lot like ground hog day! I remember that back in high school all I could do was wait for it to be over. Now that it is... I wish I had taken advantage of the youthful state I was in.

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