Bad choices — we’ve all made them and they can affect our lives and the lives of others for years to come. Delayed repercussions can knock you to the ground when you least expect it.
An action can never be undone (well, maybe in an alternate reality it can be) yet a bad decision can sometimes be better than making no decision, taking no action at all. Sometimes what seems like a bad choice turns out good in the end, though the transformation can take years. So called “good”choices can be the death of us or at least put us in a coma.
I love to write about the teenage and young adult years because the decisions are so momentous and the consequences equally so. What happens in our youth affects us our whole life, even if we are able to amend our transgressions. Even our little mistakes seem disastrous when we’re young because we have so little to compare them to.
Where would fiction be without characters making bad choices? It’s hard to let your characters screw up, but you must let them work it out.
They say write what you know. Well, I know a bit about being young and making bad choices. After all, I survived my teen years. I survived my children’s teen years. Somehow we all survived — but some of our friends did not. I write for them too
One of these years I’m going to start writing about life from an older, wiser perspective. Someday, if I’m ever old and wise, maybe I’ll write a guidebook to aging. But right now I’m still exploring the choices young people make, in various settings and time periods.
Are my novels “Young Adult?” I don’t know, nor care. I don’t write for a certain market, I write for myself. I write to discover, to experience other lives. I write to connect with others, no matter their chronological age. I write for the teenager within, to tell her that to live is to make bad choices and to keep on living, keep on growing, keep on reaching, like a plant, toward the light. Don’t harden off too soon. Stay pliant, stay supple, stay green as long as you can.
Listen to young Aaron Landon read the first chapter of Looking for Redfeather.