|Pic from this site|
I've been pondering this question lately and I've come to this conclusion:
I don't like reality. That is to say, I don't like other people's ideas of what my reality should be. When I read most YA contemporary literature today, I'm thrown back to high school. Not Forks High School where something interesting and creepy was going on at the Cullen's house in the woods. No. My high school, where the popular kids who dictated the school's fashions, music, and dance themes were so far removed from my taste in fashion, music, and dance themes that I felt like a social outcast. Why would I want to feel that way again?
Exactly. And that's why I don't read a lot of contemp YA. It's also why the ideas that pop into my head tend to be about a much more interesting high school than my own where freedom of thought may not have been the norm, but it was the exception for one girl or one boy who knew the world was bigger than the inane social rituals of a bunch of shallow people.
Yeah, I was that girl in high school. And that's why I write fantasy for young adults. I want to build worlds where anything is possible and you aren't restricted by your wardrobe. I want characters with something more weighty to consider than whether to take Trig or AP Pre-Calc. And I don't want my books to be all about teens getting drunk, having sex, and basically behaving in a way that's as foreign to me now as it was when I was 15.
I'm a snob about contemp YA. I'll be the first to admit it. I just flat-out prefer fantasy and sci-fi. Take one look at my bookshelves and you'll understand that. It doesn't mean I don't ever enjoy a contemporary novel or realistic historical fiction. In fact, there's one YA contemp that's so unique, I can't wait for it to come out.
But it does mean I'll probably never write one.
If you're a contemp writer, why do you prefer it to fantasy? (I stand ready to take notes.)
If you're a fantasy/scifi writer, what are your reasons for eschewing the 'real world'?