How to write for teenagers

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How to write for teenagers

Writing for young adults is much like it is for adults: any young adult novel must have a good story. However, it would be a mistake for an author to imagine that a young adult novel is written exactly like any other novel. Here are some tips on how to write for teenagers.

1) Mind the POV when you write for teenagers

The novels for teenagers play the card of identification. At first sight, the characters should be the same age as the readers. But in reality, children and teenagers tend to want to identify with characters who are a little older.

2) Don’t dab too much

Teens move from one social network to another in a matter of days, and what was great and cool one moment may not be cool at all a few weeks later. So if you’re trying to be hip with teens by mentioning certain phrases or other things, chances are your book will age poorly. Excessive use of “youth language” will not make a book more appealing to teenagers. Don’t overuse slang, youth language, or pop culture references in your young adult novel.

3) Don’t be embarrassed

Wondering what topics to talk about and what topics to avoid? Actually, there are no real taboo subjects. You can talk to teenagers about sex, illness, death, incest, drugs, homosexuality… Because all these subjects are part of the world they live in. But it all depends on how you deal with these subjects. Again, you have to take the right point of view. To help you, ask the teenagers around you what they know about these subjects.

4) Never look down

Even if you’re dealing with sensitive topics, your readers, especially if they’re teenagers, won’t appreciate you lecturing them in any way. Don’t answer the questions, just skim over them and let your readers answer them as they wish.

5) A happy note

Whatever book you are writing about, end it optimistically, or at least leave a glimmer of hope for your readers, so that they can choose their ending. Teens like books with happy endings, and as an adult, this is your responsibility to them as well.

It has been several years since teen literature found its place and its audience. If you want to write for teenagers, you must treat this genre, but above all its readers, with respect and attention to detail.