Earlier this week, Jeff talked about how dystopian novels for teens differ from those written for adults. Be sure to read it if you missed his post on endings.
I wanted to expand on that just a little, delving into the emotions needed for a young adult novel, science fiction or otherwise. Teens are angsty creatures. And they need characters they can connect with, which means that sometimes the plot takes a backseat to character.
One of my favorite novels, The Adoration of Jenna Fox, displays this thought of allowing the character to drive the story. Sure, there's a plot present. But it's not what drives the story to it's conclusion, sweeping Jenna along with it, forcing her to make choice A at pinch point B.
Jenna drives the story forward, with choice C and discovery D and feelings X, Y, and Z. I think this type of character-driven science fiction really resonates with young adults (it does with me!). It's not so much universes far, far away or glorious space battles, but a more subtle way of drawing the next generation of readers into the science fiction genre.
Because when we read about a character we love, maybe even one we see ourselves in, we'll keep coming back for more.
What books have you read that are more character-driven? More emotional? Do you prefer this "softer" science fiction or are you all about the science dictating the story? And give me some suggestions for character-driven sci fi that I just have to read, like yesterday.
And here's your next clue in our scavenger hunt! When you figure out the title of the secret book, click here to enter the drawing for the whole series!