Young adult fiction has boomed in the past few years, but it’s more of a category than a genre on its own. The narrative perspective is what makes a story YA, regardless of the genre. The language usage, juvenile thoughts and behaviours of characters, as well as pace makes the book YA. If you are a YA writer or an aspiring YA writer there are some tips you could use to excel in the category:
- Avoid using slang just to identify with the younger audience.
- Try an angle other than the typical troubled teen.
- Get your viewpoint right.
- Make sure your character’s age aligns with a young adult novel and shows how they grow up or transform during the course of your story.
- Use appropriate voice, language and tone.
- Show your reader how your protagonist deals with challenges and touchy subjects.
- Get input from teenagers that you know.
- Think like a teen.
- Keep the action compelling and the conflict real.
- Give your reader a sense of hope that they will overcome adversity, just as the protagonist has.
- Young adult fiction is usually written in first person.
- Use experiences from your teenage years and incorporate it into the story.
- Listen to popular teen music and listen for themes and inspiration.
Things to avoid when writing young adult stories:
- The protagonist is the chosen one who has to fulfil their destiny.
- An orphan protagonist.
- A love triangle.
- A trilogy.
For more on writing for young adults visit my previous post Bildungsroman Writing Tips For YA Success.
Are you a YA writer? How do you identify or cater for your audience? What’s your favourite young adult book? Let me know by commenting below!
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