I write YA. I might be 29 (ok, ok, 31) but I don’t feel much older than I did when I was in college. Well, until we start talking about gas prices. When I was in high school, gas was 89 cents a gallon. I could fill my tank for less than $10. Of course, I had to push my car up hill (both ways, in the snow, AND barefoot!) in order to get it to the gas station because back in my day kids drove beaters. That’s right, none of these fancy-schmancy brand new cars at age 16…
Anyhow, back to what I was saying. I might be old, but I don’t feel old. I feel like I have a good voice to write my story from a YA perspective.
The place I’m having trouble is writing my characters when they flirt. Suddenly they go from smooth and cool to che-e-sy. I feel like I need to go back to high school ala Drew Barrymore in Never Been Kissed. I’d have to dye a few gray hairs, but I think I could pull it off. Then I’d just sit in the cafeteria and listen to find out how it’s done.
You see, when I was in high school, flirting went something like this:
“Oh. Hi, Brad. I see we’re at our lockers at the exact same time.” *giggles*
“Yes. I have a car.”
“You do. Oh, wow!”
“Would you like me to give you a ride home?”
“I would love that! Rusty cars are so much cooler than the bus. Then we can awkwardly set our arms on the center console, near the gear shifter, and start holding hands by accident. Then you can ask me to Homecoming. You only know if a boy likes you if he asks you to Homecoming.”
Ok. So, I might be exaggerating a little bit. At least, we didn’t actually talk about the accidental hand holding part. But I remember several encounters with boys in high school which did fit in with that scenario. The walk close enough to brush shoulders (by mistake, of course). The yawn turned arm around the shoulder at the movie theater. The have your best friend talk to him to see if he likes you too bit. Awkward and sweet. That was how it was for me.
Heck, it didn’t get much better in adulthood. If you ever meet him, ask my husband about Clybar. It was the love confession of all love confessions. Cheesy. Sappy. Slightly creepy. Make you want to stick your finger in your throat and gag kind of thing. Yet, here we are. Married with kids. So, I suppose that sort of thing works…on me.
But I want my characters to have more chemistry than that. I’ve got to get the cheese out of my system. This is not a high school romance story, it’s a running from the scary zombies story (yes, I admitted it, I’m writing about zombies). No time for the Homecoming Dance here. For these two, romance is going to have to equal, “Thanks for saving me from death by zombie infection, I think I love you!”
On that note, I leave you with this: The Top 15 Zombie Pick-up Lines (I found them HERE) . Zombies need love too folks, zombies need love too.
- Would you like to go back to my place? Grab a shovel!
- If I said you had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me and then let me eat it?
- You’ve stolen my heart. No, seriously. Can I have it back?
- Nice ribs!
- If I had a cell phone, or any fingers, I would ask you for your number.
- As a matter of fact, I *am* Edward James Olmos.
- I have needs that cannibalism just can’t satisfy.
- It’s a good thing I’m a zombie, because you are drop-dead gorgeous!
- Did it hurt when you fell from Heaven? Or when you landed on that sharp stick? You should probably take that out, you know.
- If my lungs still worked, you would totally take my breath away!
- Well, okay. It’s rigor mortis. But I’m still happy to see you!
- I’d give my right arm for a date with you. Here you go!
- Are your feet tired? Because you’ve been shambling and lurching through my mind all day.
- I like my women like I like my tequila… cold and stiff. And, of course, that whole worm thing.
- I love you for your braaaaaaaaains!