Deja Vu or Something

It’s that time of the week, again–RTW!  The time that I don’t have to think about a clever topic to blog on, because it’s already decided for me!  What themes, settings, motifs, scenes, or other elements do you find recurring in your work?

Not including my various writing tics, like the overuse of ‘just,’ ‘somehow,’ ‘quite,’ and ‘or something,’ of course.

1.  Yellow rooms contrasted with sulky people.  For some reason, the juxtaposition of someone crying or breaking down in a cheery yellow kitchen or bedroom seems to weasel its way into most of my stories.

2.  Suburbia.  For me, it’s so much harder to write about growing up in a big city since I’ve never grown up in one.  I grew up in the suburbs.  There’s a lot of boredom that comes along with that territory, and as a result, there’s a lot of creativity in dealing with that boredom.  Many of the situations that arise in my stories probably wouldn’t happen the same in a big city, where there is plenty to do.

3.  School.  While a lot of awesome YA is set during the summer and on breaks, I love to convey the politics of high school.  It’s part of what makes this age so difficult and awkward, but also what makes it so fun.  Not to mention all of the inherent conflict.

4.  Pining.  Not like the trees, but like the deep, unyielding yearnings of unrequited love.  It’s not always the main character pining away, but someone is always pining.  I feel like this emotion is so tied up in teen love.

5.  Boys with scars.  What?  It’s totally hot.

Share My Wisdom:


  1. Francesca Zappia says:

    Suburbia! Yes! I don’t know why, but it’s such an interesting setting. Not as crazy as a city, but sometimes just as creepy.

    And did you know that painting a room yellow will actually make the people in that room more aggravated and prone to outbursts? Kind of like how if the room was colored taupe, they’d be more likely to commit suicide. >.<

    • Crystal says:

      I’m going to pretend I knew that about yellow. I definitely knew yellow makes babies cry, so I guess I had some idea of yellow causing discomfort. However, I did NOT know that about taupe. Never painting any walls taupe now.

  2. Sarah says:

    PINING. Oh mah gah. I did (do?) so much of it. And there’s nothing more relatable to teen readers than a sense of yearning—for romantic love, for acceptance, for freedom. It’s in everything they experience.

    And your yellow wall recurring thing makes me think of that short story The Yellow Wallpaper—did you ever read it? I think you’d be fascinated:

  3. J says:

    I didn’t know that about yellow rooms either! The only room I even like in yellow is the kitchen anyway, and even that has to be more of a butter yellow than a bright-cause-you-to-have-seizures-or-go-blind yellow. I did not grow up in the suburbs, but I always enjoy reading about them. 🙂

    • Crystal says:

      See, I think a yellow bedroom could be done beautifully. You just can’t overwhelm the room with yellow, because that gets a little too 70’s. However, now that I know about the effects of yellow, I’m not so sure I would want it in my room…

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