In the second of three videos published in advance of my upcoming novel, I discuss different kinds of coming-of-age novels. In the coming days, I will release Video 3.
September 5, 2020: Green Bay Outsiders has now launched and the video link has been removed. Click here to get more information about the novel.
About Coming-of-Age Novels (Video Transcript)
Hey readers. I’s Jay Lemming.
This is the second of three videos I’m going to be recording.
If you haven’t already checked out the first one, go back and take a look at my blog.
I recorded another one a couple days ago where I was telling you about what it’s like for childhood to end and what experiences you go through when you become an adult.
In this video I’m going to talk a little bit about coming-of-age novels and I’m going to talk about some that I think are pretty much on the mark. Then I’m going to talk about a couple that I think are–I mean they’re fantastic, but maybe they’re a little bit different from what you and I have actually experienced by virtue of becoming adults.
And I think I’m just going to start there. So coming-of-age novels typically have two features: one is romance and the other one is a journey of some sort. Some coming of age stories have both. Some have only one. The ones I’m thinking of are–let’s say–Lord of the Rings. For Frodo Baggins–or Samwise Gamgee, if you want to make the argument that he’s the protagonist–it’s about taking the ring to the to Mount Doom and then getting rid of the ring.
If you want to talk about–let’s say–Lloyd Alexander’s series, The Book of Three, The Black Cauldron, again you have a character that’s going through a series of books. And there’s a quest and there’s a romance and this is typically what a coming-of-age novel follows in terms of its structure.
Now there’s another kind of coming-of-age story which I love and I’m going to point to one example of a great coming-of-age novel in the genre which is Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe. And this time is coming-of-age story doesn’t quite follow this linear pattern of journey and romance. It really follows the hyper-emotional state of someone who’s going through the experience and, in that sense, I think that’s more realistic to the real experiences of people who are growing up.
I think that no matter what relationships you have–whether it’s romantic, whether it’s with parents or friends or siblings or even strangers–you know when you’re in a period of time when you’re growing up into becoming an adult and you’re not quite sure what your identity really is, or what it’s becoming, there is a hyper-emotional quality to all your experiences. And although Thomas Wolfe was criticized for how he wrote when he wrote Look Homeward, Angel, I would argue that the way he wrote it was accurate for the characters and what the characters were going through.
Now in the next video I’m going to be telling you a little bit more about my upcoming novel, Green Bay Outsiders. But I’m going to, in terms of wrapping up here, just say that I tried to follow the Look Homeward, Angel model when I wrote Green Bay Outsiders. Now Look Homeward, Angel was written almost a hundred years ago. So the novel I’m talking about, Green Bay Outsiders, it’s really a novel for the 21st century
I’ll tell you more about it in a couple days, and also tell you about how if you’re one of the first people that buy it, you can get a couple of other goodies as well.
So take care and I’ll talk to you soon.