Monday, March 14, 2011

Talking Like A Teen...

The only problem with writing YA is there is a side of me that is losing my adult filter.  Grown-up selflessness and empathy have been severely compromised since my characters entered my head.  And don't even get me started on the way I talk.

The other day I was talking to some friends of mine who are soon to be married.  I asked them about their wedding plans.  The woman has a million friends so I asked her if her bridal party would be family only or if she was going to have to supply the groom with a few friends to balance things out.  She explained that he has a lot of brothers.

Me:  "And he must have a bestie, right?"
Bride (smirking): "Yes, he does have a best friend."

My YA speak is also filtering down to my kids.  A part of me is secretly delighted but the other side of me is sure it is only a matter of time until I get phone calls.

This morning my 8yo displayed less than attractive behavior due to a long weekend and daylight savings  hell (why is it so much harder on kids?).  My 6yo held his tongue as she verbally lashed him for his bad morning breath.  But on the way to the car, he pulled me aside and said: "Mom, I don't think Jojo is doing much this morning to decrease world SUCK."


I was starting to get very concerned about the teenagers taking over my head until I had a chat with my friend Bergl who reminded me that on the day that my 3yo was born (2 years before I started work on my YA ms), I called every single person at the hospital "dude."

Me (to triage nurse): Dude, I think I need an epidural.
Me (to labor and delivery nurse): Dude, how are they doing in getting my epidural?
Me (to random med students): Dudes, do you have my epidural?
Me (to woman who walked into the room looking for tape): Dude, are you the anesthesiologist with my epidural?
Me (to everyone in the room): Dude.  Epidural.  Now.
Me (to anesthesiologist): Dude, where have you been?...Dude, what does that question have to do with my epidural?....Dude, you are killing me here....Dude, forget it, you're too late.

Non-sequitir: For those keeping track, I am 3/4 of the way through revisions of GESTAPO.  These revisions are minute revisions (as opposed to the BIG REVISE of a few weeks ago).  They involve taking out 8,432 "just"s and 34,211 "that"s in my ms.

Ex: "It's just that I need an epidural" is now "I need an epidural."

I know, I know.  That's just (G)good craftmanship.


Alexis Bass said...

haha Loved this - and it is so true (I mean, like, right?). Writing a 'teen voice' sometimes (okay, always) meanders into real life convos :)

Carrie said...

Awesome. After five years teaching teenagers (and way too many Joss Whedon shows) I am no longer fit to talk to adults. Some people do seem to think I'm a little bit crazy (or simple), but I have found this to be very useful because it means I can get them to do lots of stuff for me. I say go for it!