Friday, July 29, 2011

Cutting out the Sex Scenes (or Y I write YA)

It's Friday (no, don't start singing that song or it'll be stuck in your head all day... too late)! That means it's time for the next YA Indie Carnival installment and today's subject is (drumroll, please!)...

Why I Write YA

I'll be honest, I didn't set out to write a young adult novel. When I first started writing Between, I'd just finished several of the books in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series (which is soooooooo not young adult). I was on fire for Scots and wanted one of my very own, so Aiden MacRae was born. *swoon*

The first draft of Between had lots and lots of yummy sex scenes in it. One early reader said, "Is this MacSteamy or what???" *grin* To be fair, they are all still there, they are just toned waaaaaaaay down from the original manuscript.

A series of things happened to make me revise the book for a young adult audience.

1) After researching the adult romance market, I realized that the book didn't fit the genre very well.
2) I received some comments from beta readers that the tone of the book felt more young adult.
3) I started reading YA and found that the freedom within the genre worked perfectly for the story I needed to tell.

So some harsh and painful editing later, Between was completely revised into a YA novel and I couldn't be more pleased with it. Believe me, all those yummy scenes are still alive in my head, but I don't regret making the switch to YA at all. In fact, the late-teen/college-age demographic is exactly where I wanted to be, I just didn't know it at the time. And I think I'll be hanging out with this group for quite a while.

*high fives all around*

Check out the other participants in the YA Indie Carnival!

Danny Snell's Refracted Light Reviews
Patti Larsen
Laura Elliott
Courtney Cole
Wren Emerson
Nichole A. Williams
Fisher Amelie
Amy Maurer Jones
Rachel Coles. Geek Mom. Book Reviewer
T. R. Graves
P.J. Hoover
Heather Cashman


  1. I like the idea that you publish the ORIGINAL version alongside the actual version or what about showing us deleted scenes? ;)

  2. Hi Cyndi,

    What a fantastic post! I know exactly what you mean when you refer to the flexibility of the YA genre. I think YA readers, especially those that seek out the fantasy and paranormal varieties, are a bit more open minded. We're the dreamers and our books are a place where it is acceptable to get carried away with our imaginations and escape to worlds, that are exciting and new and distract us from the daily normal repetitive lives. Don't get me wrong, I love my life, but every once and a while I need a break from it.

    I look forward to your next post!

  3. Lynsey, ooo, those deleted scenes sound like a great idea:)

    I agree with Amy, well said. Great that you were able to recognize where the story you had to tell needed to be. I think you've found a happy home in YA:)

  4. What a great way to stumble upon writing YA. It really is fun to write!

  5. How fantastic that you had the guts to trust your instincts! We're so glad you did... and now we're keeping you! mwahahahaha.... :)

  6. I would think that YA would be more fun to write sometimes, but I haven't found the courage to strike out. Way to have the courage to trust your instincts!