Love Hurts

If you’ve ever been in love, or any kind of relationship, you probably know that love can hurt. It can be messy, complicated, and sometimes leaves no survivors. In real life, love is very rarely the simple happily ever after fairytale.

One of the things I love about YA is that it doesn’t flinch away from the complicated and heavy parts of life. It deals with every raw part of teenager’s lives, from first loves to loss. I think as authors we have a responsibility in that. To not just write about these, but write them authentically.

Just because it is YA doesn’t mean we should “water down” things. Life is not watered down. And especially in these dark fictional worlds, teenage characters deal with very adult problems, just like in real life. There’s a fantastic post on this by author Kate Brauning, which you can read here.

With all of that in mind, I’ve still struggled with how dark and twisted to go in my often dark and twisted fantasy. I want to be true to my characters and my world, but within the realms of YA and without alienating certain readers. I know how crucial YA was to me while I was growing up, and how much I learned, so I want to be able to give that same experience to younger readers.

But more than that, I’ve had a hard time with the romance in my story. From the very beginning, even before I wrote a single word, I knew Falcon was going to be with Hawke. They are perfect for each other, a team. And while they do have some conflict over outside events, they don’t really have any issues between them.

Then came a new character, Crow. I never intended for him to be a romantic interest, not even slightly. But the more I wrote, the harder it became to ignore. There was just something between him and Falcon, no matter how I tried to deny it. A pull, a spark, whatever you want to call it, it was there, and it wasn’t going away.

The problem is, Crow has issues. A lot of issues. I mean, he’s an assassin for a gang lord and comes from a severely abusive and messed up background. He isn’t capable of a healthy relationship. For him, everything is messy, no matter how good he tries to be. But when my CP first read EMBER, one of the first things she said was this is who Falcon should be with, their chemistry is tangible.

So how do I choose? Do I choose the character she should be with, the one who would make a great relationship and role model for love? Or do I choose the one who I know will cause her pain, but might actually be the stronger, greater love, even if it’s not always healthy?

Honestly, I still don’t have it entirely figured out. I have strong reasoning and motivation for both. But reading Kate Brauning’s post and some of her other tweets helped to open my eyes. YA relationships don’t have to be perfect. Really, they shouldn’t. Because real life relationships, especially teenage ones, are rarely perfect. It would give me an opportunity to really explore the ups and downs of relationships, all the messy tangles of love. Not to mention that the rocky, imperfect love might simply make for a better story.

What do you think? Do you prefer characters who are perfect for each other and relationships that are healthy? Or a more raw, complicated love story that might be a little more true to real experience, especially in YA?

To Reblog Or Not To Reblog?

That is the question.

As you may have noticed, I haven’t had time to post as often with the semester in full swing, so I try to post once a week rather than every couple of days.

My question for you is, would you rather I choose one post to reblog every week, in between my own posts?

I know it’s not the same as a real post, but it’s better than none, and I’ll try to choose the best posts to share with y’all.

What do you think? Should I reblog each week, or not?

Blog Award Round-up

Hey all! I’ve gotten really super a little behind on blog awards, so I’m sorry! Y’all are just sharing so much love, I can’t keep up 🙂 Sometimes, I still can’t believe where I’m at after only three and a half months of blogging, and the fact that y’all recognize and appreciate me means a lot.

So thanks to my lovely nominators, Kathryn St. John-Shin and Arya of Wordy and Nerdy for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award and Hayley of Books Are Delicious for her twist on the award, The Mega Awesome Super Inspiring Voltron Award, as well as Kyrosmagic for the One Lovely Blog Award. Go stop by and share some love with them!

image5 lovely-blog-award-1 mega-awesome

I decided to do these awards together since they are all essentially the same. I figured you would rather read one post than five different ones 🙂

The Rules (They’re really more like guidelines. You don’t even have to follow them. I won’t tell anyone)

  1. Thank and link the amazing person(s) who nominated you.
  2. List the rules and display the award.
  3. Share seven facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated.

Seven Things You Probably Don’t Know About Me

  1. I started full-time college courses at 16 and graduated high school at 17.
  2. The first stories I ever wrote were “Princess Tori” stories about me being a princess/knight who would save my siblings from dragons, go on adventures, and generally be awesome
  3. I still sleep with a light on, can’t go higher than a few feet off the ground, and refuse to use revolving doors or go in small spaces where I might get trapped
  4. I used to be a huge tomboy, and still (mostly) am, though I do still like to get dolled up sometimes 🙂
  5. Three things on my bucket list: Volunteer abroad, swim with elephants, and become a published author (duh)
  6. I have social anxiety and hate large groups of people, but my boyfriend is a social butterfly. Figures.
  7. I love kids and have been a nanny for almost three years now. If I ever refer to “my boys” I mean the two boys I nanny 🙂

That was a lot harder than I thought it would be! Really glad I didn’t have to do 28 of those, haha. Now on to my fifteen nominations! Some of you have probably already been nominated, in which case you definitely don’t have to post again, but feel free to take any of the above buttons for your blog 🙂

Nominees (in no particular order):

  1. Out of the Well
  2. Olivia of Often Clueless Always Shoeless
  3. Winter Bayne
  4. A Writer’s Life For Me
  5. Sarah J. Carlson
  6. Krystol of The Krystol Method
  7. John Guillen
  8. Stephanie Allen of My Personal Fairytale
  9. Inklings
  10. I Read Encyclopedias For Fun
  11. J. Sevick
  12. D.R. Sylvester of Writes and Responsibilities
  13. Jon of A Writer At Heart
  14. William of UNEARTHme
  15. Emily of Books and Cleverness