Artigos

Writing for young people

Speaking about literature for young people is a joy for me. And writing for them is a great pleasure. Frankly, I think the young literature should have another name. Nowadays, the word “juvenile” doesn’t translate anymore the reality of teens, and in my view has become obsolete. Old. Exceeded. So, I prefer YA (Youg-Adult) Literature.

Why do I like so much of writing for teenagers? Because this is a stage in life when they aren’t children anymore… but neither they’re adults. Adolescence is, in fact, the middle way and it’s precisely there that the most significant problems can happen. On the other hand, it’s a great time to think about life, to begin to “sharpen” claws, to prepare the body and spirit to adulthood, will come next.

Many people think teens don’t have a “brain,” or that they have no concern beyond their reality, or that they don’t worry about anything important. Nothing further from reality! Teens, in general, are anxious about everything, interested in everything. They also want to understand everything, because they know that “adult life” outside is waiting for them. Saved proportions and discounting the exceptions, I would say that adolescence is the best stage of life because we can give back to the (controlled) childhood and taste a piece of freedom of adulthood without assuming their real responsibilities. So, I like to write for them.

It was in my teens that I learned to think, to reflect on the world. I was 14 years old when I started writing. It was at that age I experienced my first love. And all these events were of great importance to me, were instrumental in my becoming who I am today. I mean, a person concerned about the world around me and that intends, through its books, to plant seeds to the four winds for some of them flourish — no matter where or when.

I don’t claim (never had) a “teenage look” in my books. It would be ridiculous because I’m not a teen anymore. But I aim to make language accessible to them, bringing up discussions related to their age, daily life, interests, and way of life. Therefore, I hope I always reach that goal.

  

Unfortunately, in my country Young Literature is considered “minor literature”. The media gives no space for it; literary notebooks almost ignore these books. Even the Children’s Literature that also lives a little on the sidelines is viewed with some caution, though with more condescension, perhaps because of its history, longer than the juvenile. There is much talk of “literature for children” and too little on “literature for young people.” The proof is that most literary competitions and official programs for the purchase of books very often gather the two categories into one, when in fact, in my view, should be separated. After all, some authors write only for one segment or to the other one.

However, this is a lengthy discussion, and the changes will come with time when more and more authors will be interested in writing for young people. I hope that in the future our literary production for teens will be in many other countries. And we can also learn more literary production that exists out there. This bringing together of different cultures through knowledge of literature is one of my dreams … I hope I can accomplish it, and with the help of many other writers.