Welcome to post #2 in my September Weekly Discussion Posts focusing on YA Realistic Fiction and why it rocks. Many times I feel like contemporary and historical books are overlooked in favor of the paranormal, fantasy, and dystopia around the YA blogosphere. This is just a little attempt on my part to bring to your attention some of the great things about YA Realistic Fiction. I'm going to have three weeks of posts and then the fourth week will have a giveaway so be sure to stop by!
This week's topic is World-building and is perhaps a bit more relevant to contemporary rather historical fiction. I was reminded of this as I started reading Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff this week. This is an adult steampunk fantasy novel that is filled with unfamiliar words and governmental structures; I really struggled in the beginning. To me, this experience is a great reminder of how fast I can slip into a contemporary novel. Most of those I've read are set in high schools or the summer in America-something I am very familiar with. Even those set in Australian or British schools have their familiar elements.
This also applies to all of the little details: what do people eat? What does their clothing and housing look like? What role does the government play? A lot of those answers can be taken for granted in a contemporary novel and it certainly helps me slide into the world and start to connect with the characters, my primary purpose when reading.
These thoughts are not an excuse for realistic fiction writers to skimp on details that enhance our understanding of character because they assume we know already. The right information about character clothing or class selection can prove illuminating. But I think it's a great thing for us readers to not have to wade through pages of description and info-dumps before we can get to the real heart of the story.
Do you agree that the worlds of realistic fiction often pop quickly more than those that are constructed whole-scale from the author's imagination?
Be sure to join me next week for the third post about relationships.
Look what I treated myself to:
Sean Griswold's Head by Lindsey Leavitt
Confessions of an Angry Girl by Louise Rozett
Two great books that you could win September 23 when I unveil my accompanying giveaway!