Thursday, December 17, 2009

12 Gifts of YA #6, 7, 8, and 9: Four Emotions of the Apocalypse

This post reveals a great mystery. Or not.

In my silly YA world, the 4 Emotions of the Apocalypse are anger, sadness, anxiety, and love. I believe them to be the secrets gift of YA. I haven't heard anyone talk about it--so maybe it's just my own weirdness for believing it's a gift--but writing teenage angst is a huge blessing. I get to channel my drama queen tendencies into my characters' lives!

For grown-ups, the negative three of those emotions can be brought on by myriad sources: bills, spouses, kids, jobs, you name it. GROSS. For YAers, on the other hand, those emotions tend to be more pure, more related to identity and learning about the world and themselves. That purity rocks, because it gets me back to the root of what it means to be human, what it means to be struggling to find yourself in this batshit whacked-out world.

Love is almost more tricky than any of the others, but I also believe that kids as a whole love more purely than grown-ups. They don't see the flaws in people/places/things as quickly as us oldsters. Or maybe they love *despite* the flaws, because nobody has told them to do otherwise.

And the apocalypse thing: teenage emotions go BOOOOOOOM, and I adore it. Grown-up emotions do, too, but other grown-ups look down on us when we let it happen. Grrrr. With teenagers, however, angst is *expected*. Excellent! It's a blast when characters lob nuclear emotion bombs at each other, even if they're *my* bombs from the flat tire or the rude colleague.

Enough posts about emotions, yes? Yes. And I have one day of finals left, and 3 YA gifts to go. I can do this!

Image shamelessly swiped from here.

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