Or something like that.
I wouldn't write if I could only write from my blessed, but boring existence. Living vicariously through my characters is the whole point. Well, maybe not the whooooole point.
However, I often wonder what "reality" is missing from my manuscript(s). If what I'm writing is completely fabricated (for example, I'm 34 writing from the POV of a 15 year old or 17 year old), I worry the "believability" (of teen life) is missing. I'm aware this is a major issue for many of us YA writers who are not teens by birthdate (regardless of our claims of being young at heart and/or perpetual teenagers) and that many agents search extra hard for adult writers with a genuine teen voice. Granted, I was once a teenage girl, however, my memories of being one are now glimpsed through my 34 year old hindsight.
So, the thoughts streaming through my MC's head need to be (believable) thoughts a "real" teen might think in whatever situation I place them in.
Kiersten White wrote a post a while ago sticking up for Evie from Paranormalcy (in response to someone discussing protags liking "girly" things (if my memory is working correctly). Kiersten said she remembered being a teen and thinking about boys, boys and more boys.
And, sure, I might have, too. Thought about boys a lot, I mean. And about friend issues. And about homework issues. (Again, had I chosen to write from my own life, the novel would have put anyone to sleep in four seconds flat.)
BUT, how can I know for sure that my character will still think about boys and friends and homework in the midst of running from a haunting blue creature in search of her great-grandma's long lost journal? How do I know that she would take time out to fall in love with the unnerving boy from her French class while also trying to figure out why she has a pearly aura surrounding her body? How many times per page can I mention her heart rate, nervous stomach, sweaty palms and shortness of breath? And isn't it just great that she finished all her homework before transporting to another dimension for the first time?
How do you add reality to the unreality of your