Re: Re: The Use of “Gonna” in YA Lit

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Michael J. Bugeja

Thank you again, everyone. This professor has actually had novels published through Random House, but not young adult. He said his problem with my dialogue was that I had too much casual chatter. But from what I’m hearing, if a character starts speaking one way, consistency is the key. Occasionally, “gonna” and contractions will show up in my character’s speech from now on. I’m more concerned with keeping agents happy versus my professor (class is over) The rest of my novel uses proper English–no short cuts. Not having been a student in a college classroom in–well, some amount of time, I wasn’t sure what the consensus on writing dialogue was like now. I’m currently taking a YA Lit class and reading some great books. “Make Lemonade,” “Archer’s Quest,” “Stargirl.” I noticed that the dialogue used in these books is casual. “Make Lemonade” is told through the eyes of a young girl, as if she is actually telling you her story. Most of the text is not proper English. An interesting choice by the author, but from what I’ve read, it’s quite controversial. Some believe if you write YA fiction the English must be proper in order to teach the correct use of words. From what I’m reading here, stay true to how you think your characters would speak.

Peggy, I think saying dialogue aloud is a great idea. I use this technique often. That’s where I was having issues with how I should write certain parts of the dialogue. Thank you again.

This has been a very helpful discussion.