Julia Green, YA author and also course director for the MA in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University, interviewed by Rebecca Davies for The Independent Children’s Book Blog.
Follow the link under the extract for the full interview…
The plot is extremely character-driven compared to a lot of other recent novels for young people. What advice would you give to any budding authors hoping to write similarly character-driven stories?
Yes, it’s my intention to write character-driven stories, partly because so many contemporary novels are driven by plot. I want to speak up for the ‘quieter’ kind of fiction which deals with the intense, inner world of teenagers, where everything is felt so deeply and intensely.
For me, that’s the great thing about this time of life, when everything’s in transition, and when we are working out who, and how, to ‘be’. These are the sort of novels I loved when I was a young adult, and still do, actually. Stories that deal with relationships, emotions, real life.
To write a story this way, you have to spend time getting to know the character before you begin writing. I make notes. I have a list of questions I ask myself, about who she is, what’s happened to her before the story begins, what she loves, hates, fears. Her memories and dreams and secrets. What she wants. I do the same for all the characters. It helps me work out what motivates them. The story comes out of that.