I don’t get what the point is about this article from the FP. I’ve given it multiple attempts to read since it was published but I can’t ever make it past the part where she goes in-depth about the adult human’s tendency to have “humiliation dreams.”
I have the same problem with her “Why We Drive” article. I get that she’s an author. I get that she’s a young adult author, and that’s a genre I more or less specialize in, actually. Confession time: I’m working on two or three young adult novels myself (yes it’s not something I really try to advertise as it’s probably even more embarrassing than my Nickelodeon and Disney Channel review blog) but moreover I’ve read literally hundreds of young adult novels (a big part of it professionally as a teacher and now someone looking to get into publishing) just in the space since I’ve had posting privs here on Oppo (yeah along with the whole Disney Channel thing I’m a walking pile of fail when it comes to actual interests and hobbies, no wonder I can’t get into Netflix Stranger Things aside). And for what it’s worth I appreciate her appreciation of the early second-gen Camaro. But here’s the thing: after reading so many damn cheesy novels of various degrees of writing skill and so many damn hours of watching cheesy multi-camera television of varying degrees of acting and scriptwriting skill (and I trust you enough to guess where on the spectrum the vast majority of that falls into), it’s easy for me to recognize when an author actually has a very focused direction and point and uses her skill to craft a very focused story that sticks in the memory, and when an author is more under the impression that good, high-art literature is more about weaving a story into an unrecognizable exquisite corpse in which the entire goal seems to be how much can the author flirt with the line between when paragraphs remain tangentially connected with each other and when the story just becomes a collection of disparate stories just daring you to figure out the common link between them.
There was one guy who was really good at the latter.
Maybe her young adult stories are more focused (I haven’t read any of them, maybe I should make a point to read at least one) but when you’re writing for an adult audience on a journalism blog and when that audience is accustomed to non-fiction, highly focused stories (usually of a factual variety) appealing to a very specific hobby or group of enthusiasts, well...the truest thing about writing there is as far as I’m concerned is write to your audience. And I hope I don’t offend anyone, but both tweens/teens and automotive enthusiasts - well, not to say they lack attention but I think they most appreciate stories that are highly focused that don’t require referring back to previous paragraphs to follow along.