Revision Day 44: I’ve turned off my laptop and am posting this from my phone so I don’t have an X-Files
Photo for today. But! I did revise. I basically hate the scenes I’ve been working on. My solace is that readers probably won’t be able to tell. The scenes are necessary, but awful to write. (They advance the plot but include none of my favorite things to write, like making out or violence.) I’ll be offline for the weekend, so no more revision updates till Monday.
Mostly because if there’re believable characters like LGBTQ+ teens in easily accessible YA fiction, we won’t have to go out of our way to find characters like us in badly-written fanfiction on the internet!
Seriously, though. We need queer characters in YA fiction especially, not just novels, but comics and television and movies. And we need these characters to be ALL KINDS of queer characters. We don’t just need your white, cisgender, gay boys. These aren’t bad characters – David Levithan’s novel Boy Meets Boy is fantastic! I loved David LaRochelle’s Absolutely, Positively Not! Alex Sanchez’ Rainbow Boys series is also really, really awesome! But white/cis/gay dudes aren’t the only people on the LGBTQ+ spectrum – although, reading queer YA fiction, you wouldn’t guess it.
It’s the same with most YA lesbian novels I’ve read. Novels like Keeping You a Secret by Julie Anne Peters and Empress of the World by Sara Ryan are very much tales of the middle class, and once again, although they’re not necessarily bad stories, they’re also not the only stories that need to be told.
The only time I came close to finding YA fiction about someone like me was the short story Standing On The Roof Naked by Francess Lantz, about an outcast tomboy, and even that wasn’t enough. Where are the butches and the high femmes and the trans* kids and the queers of colour? It sucks when the only representation of queer characters in the mainstream aren’t the type of queer you are.
People talk about how great it is that gay is becoming a mainstream thing, and it is! It’s really great! The fact that I can walk into the young adult section of my local library and grab five books with gay main characters is awesome! But these books are all LGB centered. I want the TQ! Sometimes I want to see butch-meets-girl, or the shy trans*girl win prom queen AND the popular boy’s heart, or even just the flamboyant gay boy have a storyline that doesn’t have anything to do with being, you know, gay.
But I mean. I’m a writer. If you won’t give me what I want, I’ll just do it myself.
Some recommendations (yes, 2 by me):
Butches: Pretend You Love Me by Julie Anne Peters, The Difference Between You and Me by Madeleine George, Ash by Malinda Lo (MC is not butch, but her love interest is)
Queer kids of color: Sister Mischief by Laura Goode, Huntress by Malinda Lo, Boyfriends With Girlfriends by Alex Sanchez, Ask the Passengers by A.S. King (coming this October),
Trans: Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kirstin Cronn-Mills (coming this October)
“Acting is all about communicating vulnerability, allowing the truth inside yourself to shine through regardless of whether it looks foolish or shameful. To open and give yourself completely. It is an act of freedom, love, connection. Actors long to be known in the deepest way for their subtleties of character, for their imperfections, their complexities, their instincts, their willingness to fall. The more fearless you are, the more truthful the performance. How can you do that if you know you will be personally judged, skewered, betrayed? If you’re smart, you learn to willfully disassociate, to compartmentalize. Putting your emotions into a safety box definitely comes in handy when the public throws stones. The point is to survive, intact or not, whatever the emotional cost. Actors who become celebrities are supposed to be grateful for the public interest. After all, they’re getting paid. Just to set the record straight, a salary for a given on-screen performance does not include the right to invade anyone’s privacy, to destroy someone’s sense of self.”—Jodie Foster (yes, that Jodie Foster!) writes about the media frenzy surrounding the Kristen Stewart/Robert Pattinson breakup at The Daily Beast
“As a writer, I need an enormous amount of time alone. Writing is 90 percent procrastination: reading magazines, eating cereal out of the box, watching infomercials. It’s a matter of doing everything you can to avoid writing, until it is about four in the morning and you reach the point where you have to write. Having anybody watching that or attempting to share it with me would be grisly.”—Paul Rudnik (via writersrelief)
“…only a white man would believe that the online literary culture — or anything on the Internet — suffers from too much niceness. If you’re a woman, person of color, or member of the LGBT community, the online literary culture is, more often than not, far less hospitable and criticism is directed to the person rather than the person’s ideas. Has a man writing in the public sphere ever been called fat, ugly or a whore within the context of their writing? I doubt it. It is a privilege to have had no encounters that might lead you to believe the online culture is anything but nice.”—Roxane Gay, “Twitter isn’t killing books” (Salon.com)
“Lo’s (Huntress) writing sparkles throughout, Reese’s efforts at self-acceptance after the accident are engaging, and the exciting ending will leave readers ready for the sequel.”—Publishers Weekly's (awesome!) review of Adaptation (WARNING: SOME SPOILERS in the review. I don’t think they’re major, but they are definitely spoilers.)
So I may have mentioned a few times on my tumblr that I have some not-so-good news about the September 11 release of my Gothic novel Unspoken.
Here it is: Barnes & Noble stores near you might not have it. I figured you guys should know now, because I don’t want anyone to go in hoping it’ll be…
I have read Sarah Rees Brennan’s Unspoken and it is so fun, funny, and smart. Also, bonus points for giant creepy Gothic house in a picture-perfect yet possibly sinister English country village. Oh yeah, and an ending that will leave you equal parts breathless and clamoring for more. Did I mention I loved it? I think you will love it too, so be sure to pick it up at your independent bookstore this fall. Or hell, buy it from Amazon. You will not be disappointed!
“So when it comes down to wondering if we’ve all become too nice, too friendly to each other here on this series of tubes, my response is to laugh and say no. No, we haven’t even come close. But if I had to trade, then yes, I would rather live in a community of cheerleaders and enthusiasts than one ruled by hate.”—
Well, the contest is OPEN! Hit the link at the top for details on how to enter.
What he said! (Though actually I don’t think you need to be a teen. The restrictions are that you have not made $2,000 or more in the last year from writing; that you’re not a professional or semi-pro writer; and that you are not under contract elsewhere.)