I'm not sure what possessed me to do this, but I've completely gutted three chapters in my current WIP. I have no idea where any of this change came from, but so far, I like all of it. I'm just taking it slow, seeing what's around the corner. I added more for a character that didn't have much going on and took out some things I decided were just too slow and too...happy. These people needed more conflict..yeah..they are just 17 and seniors in high school, but what's high school without changing up boyfriends at the drop of a hat?
I have a 17 year old living in my house right now, so if anyone wants to argue that point with me, I'd have plenty of ammunition.
I think a lot of people that write YA don't realize how immature 17 year olds still are. Some of the books I've read seem to have very intelligent teens that make very intelligent decisions and have a high moral code. Now I'm not saying those teens don't exist. I'm saying they are few and far between.
The teens I see still do impulsive things. They still make a lot of mistakes. Sometimes they have sex with their boyfriend because they want to be loved, not because they're bad kids. Sometimes they have sex because they're just flat out curious about it, even though in their brains they know it's not a good idea.
There are a few that are more mature and are ready to take on the world, but those kiddos are few and far between. I have a few in mind right now that are. They could probably get married and start working right now and be mature enough to handle it, but that doesn't mean they should.
The majority of the kids my daughter hangs with, have jobs, are in activities and keep their grades up and their butts out of trouble, but they are still kids. They're just taller than my elementary kids. They have boyfriends and girlfriends and they have to deal with all of that too. Most of them don't do a very good job of it either. It's messy, but it's real.
So, as I write some of the experiences I had as a teen and mesh them with some of the experiences I've seen with my teen daughter, I hope my characters feel real to the reader. That's my goal anyway.