Suddenly, Granny’s Words Ring True

June 24, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Posted in Writing, Reading | 3 Comments

As if it weren’t hard enough to write in one language, I am about to attempt to write in two. This may not be pretty, so bear with me. I am fluent in two languages; English and Scottish. Isn’t Scottish just English with an accent, I hear you say. Well, yes and no. Have you ever been to Scotland and tried to understand a word the natives say? It’s no easy feat. The cadence, the speed, the colloquialisms (there’s a braw word, eh?), the slang, everything about it is just foreign; even its clichés.

Many people have asked me (that’s a fib, by the way) what my favorite Scottish cliché is. My answer is, and always will be, There’s guid gear in sma’ bulk. I heard these words often when I was growing up. They were said to me empathetically by my wee Scottish Granny who, like me, was vertically challenged. She stood slightly less than my five foot even, and there is no question where I inherited my  height, or lack thereof.  My three younger siblings, however, towered above me leading to comments from other family members .. “Well, what happened to you?” or “What’s the weather like down there?”

I was never amused.

My Granny, though, would always return with her mantra, often preceded by, Dinnae listen tae whit they say. Take it fae me. And then, always the reassurance that there’s guid gear in sma’ bulk. What she was essentially telling me through her thick Scots brogue and chosen words of her mother tongue was that good things come in small packages. Her words have stayed with me partly because I did not grow another inch, but almost certainly because they are absolutely true. Countless times over the years, I have recalled her words as life’s little gifts appeared. The best things were indeed often the little things.

Now, as Suddenly Lost In Words takes shape, I hear her words again as we, the Suddenly team, give a place to short stories for young adults and group them in small packages for all to enjoy.  Granny, you were right, there’s guid gear in sma’ bulk!

Not Another Top Ten List

June 19, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Posted in Writing, Reading | Leave a comment

It has been several days since our last top ten list, so surely it is time for another. Last week’s list was a general “What is YA?” where one of the ten was ” Characteristics” which deserves a list unto itself. So, here it is …

THE TOP TEN STORY CHARACTERISTICS OF A YA (YOUNG ADULT) STORY ARE:

10. Memorable characters

9. Accurate facts and details

8. Original ideas

7. A memorable voice

6. Authentic dialogue

5. Effective and clear writing style

4. A sense of humor

3. Widespread appeal

2. Intriguing openings and unforgettable endings

1. PLOT! PLOT! PLOT!

Combine all of the above into one story and you’ll have it made.

There, now wasn’t that painless?

 

YA = Young Adult. Kind of.

June 14, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Posted in Writing, Reading | Leave a comment

Not sure what Young Adult literature is, who reads it, why and where it’s read? Read on …

Here are ten things everyone should know about Young Adult literature:

10. Young adult fiction/literature is writing marketed to and published for young people.

9.  The American Library Association defines a young adult as someone between the ages of 12 and 18.

8.  YA is the abbreviation for Young Adult.

7.  YA literature shares the fundamental writing elements of character, plot, setting, theme & style. However, theme & style override the other elements to appeal more readily to younger readers.

6.  Most YA stories portray a young adult, rather than an adult or child, protagonist.

5.  YA stories can span the spectrum of fiction genres ~ fantasy, romance, horror, memoir, mystery …

4. Themes in YA stories often focus on the challenges of youth.

3. Writing styles of YA stories range widely from the richness of literary style to the clarity and speed of the unobtrusive.

2. The characteristics of a YA story are many. That’s a separate top ten list unto itself!

1.  ADULTS read YA literature, too!

COMING SOON ~ The top ten characteristics and a top ten of YA books.

So, now that you know what YA is, start reading it or writing it … better yet, do both!!

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