For the past two years I’ve been studying a Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing at RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology). It’s one of the top courses in its field in Australia (I have to phrase it like that, not really knowing every other course out there, but actually I think it’s THE best). Cath Crowley teaches my young adult course, and she won the Prime Minister’s Award this year for young adult fiction. Toni Jordan teaches me novel, and her debut novel sold all over the world.
But in 2 months it’ll all be over, and I’ll be back to making my own way. So here are some things I’m considering:
Young adult contemporary romance. I recently completed a(n absolutely brilliant) internship with Allen & Unwin, and they practically begged me for some good young adult romance. Likewise the people in my course who regularly talk to librarians and book sellers. It wasn’t something I’d specifically thought of writing. Of course, any young adult fiction I wrote would have romance at the heart of it, but I’ve been thinking about transferring the full romance structure over to young adult. And…
…my brain is buzzing.
It’s an open field in a way that adult romance isn’t. What I love about adult romance is that reading widely in the genre gives me an in-depth knowledge of the conventions (blue-stocking and rake, wallflower and rake, tom-boy and…rake) – which also means I’m confident in breaking them.
With young adult romance I’m right at the very beginning, trying on the most basic romance tropes. What does an alpha hero look like when he’s a teenager? What does happily ever after mean when it’s probably not going to be forever? What’s the equivalent of the marriage of convenience?
I’m also in Scotland right now, by the way, and am meant to be taking a break from writing. I’m more than happy not to be thinking about my works-in-progress, but my brain won’t stop going when it comes to these ideas.
It’s just a little bit terrifying, and makes me think that even when I finish studying there won’t be enough hours in the day.