Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Yay For the Y Chromosome

Even though I have written boy characters before, The Forever City is the first book I've written with a boy-POV. In case you have not noticed by now, I am not a boy. So this is why I appreciate posts like this by Hannah Moskowitz, who is the coolest thing in the blogosphere I've seen this year. Maybe even last year. Maybe even ever. Therefore, I am shamelessly pimping her blog and I think you should all follow her, if only for the purpose of being listed as part of her magical school of gay fish (followers).

Also, she is my age and makes me feel like I've done nothing with my life. I feel that way a lot though. It's an inevitable feeling when I'm surrounded by awesome bloggers (not literally surrounded, like you're all breathing down my neck at B&N while I'm trying to drink my green tea latte).

Let's all go ahead and admit that at least 70% of YA literature right now is straight up directed at girls' fantasies about romance.* Not that I'm blaming a certain obnoxiously in-your-face vampire franchise (try avoiding it for a week, YOU CAN'T), but you have to agree that on some level, this particular franchise is responsible for the deluge of books about boys who exist in the book to do nothing but serve as a romantic interest for the female MC.** If you are a boy, would you be interested in this? Probably not. I can tell you, my brother hates YA. And since my brother is not exactly what you would call an advanced reader, he doesn't read a lot. It's not like he's going to venture to adult books, and he's not interested in romantic subplots (which 90% of YA books have).

I've honestly never thought hard about how stereotypical boy characters are before. And I will go ahead and admit to you all that the last book I read with a boy MC was Percy Jackson, authored by a guy, so it wasn't even really a problem (not to mention, that's MG, not YA). Maybe I should read more books with male MC's - REAL male MC's, not the I-live-to-make-a-girl's-dream-come-true male MC's. Yes. I will make that my goal for the next year. More boys.

Not only do boys deserve to read 3D boy characters, but girls do too. Let's not make boys what they are not - accessories. They make mistakes, they are stupid, they have interests other than that pretty girl down the street. Anyway, a kickass girl character deserves a fully-fleshed out boy, not a cookie cutter perfect one.

You can also follow the link on the side list of Blogs I Stalk. Hannah's blog (Invincible Summer) is there. All the blogs on that side, I read every single post, even if I don't comment. Go. NOW.

Oh, well for the disclaimer, if you are offended by cursing, you should still go. Just, IDK, wash out your eyes afterward or something. She writes the way I talk in real life, but I try to censor myself in writing. Ish.

*All of the statistics in this post are completely made up. By ___% I really mean, the majority.
**No doubt, these books existed before Twilight became the anchor of pop culture, but Twilight surely hasn't done anything to slow the trend. Also, I feel like it is necessary to include my 800000th disclaimer about how I don't really hate Twilight, it's just the easiest example to use because everyone knows about it.


  1. Imagine how she makes one feel if they are 31 and still unpublished. ;)

    Thanks for sharing, it was a great post!

  2. Mmm, yeah, I'm older than you AND Miss Moskowitz... :P Saw the link to this on Weronika's blog. Very good discussion.

    I worry about writing boys, but it occurs to me now that there are actually quite a lot of them running amok in my fiction...

  3. I've been writing a YA urban fantasy told through the eyes of a street-wise 12 year abandoned boy during Katrina. I was 12 years old some light years ago, so it is a challenge to write from that perspective, too.

    You have a great blog, Roland

  4. loved this post, and i really like your blog

    Regina Brooks author of WRITING GREAT BOOKS FOR YOUNG ADULTS and literary agent for Serendipity Literary Agency

  5. This is an absolutely excellent post, XiXi. Great thoughts on the subject. I, you know, took the easy way out and just pointed the way to Hannah's blog. I have a lot to say on the subject, but I'm not overly qualified as I don't read YA as intensively as most YA writers around here.

    Thanks for taking the time to put this together.

    I hope your summer is kicking butt! :)