Effective Tips on How to Write a Young Adult Novel
How a Youth Advocate can Craft the Best YA Novel Plot
The young adult category is always evolving. So, if you were to compare the difference between a young adult novel and adult novel, to say the safest, young adult fiction is the type of fiction young adults (time between puberty and parenthood, around 13-20) can relate to. And in this case, where they are at the stages of strongest maturation, self-discovery. Writing juvenile fiction becomes an immediate crowd favorite when the readers—the young adult population—begin to thoroughly enjoy and relate to the story’s plot.
If you’re a youth advocate, reading and writing YA novels might help you understand young adults better. It can also be a great material for helping them develop their skills in different areas of life, such as in health, education, relationships, employment, etc.
Let’s take a book from the late Ned Vizzini as an example. His book, It’s Kind of a Funny Story, tackles a mental condition that is becoming more common in the society today: depression. Since depression could hit anyone, young adults included, it can be a great tool to help them understand what they are going through and how they could cope with it.
Now, to craft the best plot for your YA novel, follow these tips:
Think about what moral value you wish to impart upon your readers.
This has to slowly build up then taught in the end with a bang. Meaning, your readers will, by the last chapter, get answers, as well as be completely satisfied of the outcome, considering they spent hours burning the midnight candle to get to something. Friendship, courage, and hope are just some examples of common, but timeless themes. Harry Potter, anyone?
Develop a broad view of the world.
When you see the real world in a different, clearer way, you’ll be able to craft your characters, your realm, and your plot better. A great way to encourage your readers to really open their eyes and to discover the world’s colors instead of having a grayscale view, craft your protagonist in that way too. The prized novel The Giver by Lois Lowry is a good example for this.
Encourage your readers to make a change in their lives if they are unhappy.
Publishing young adult novels must have its purpose. It may be to inspire, to teach, to encourage change, or all of the above. It is undeniable that a young adult can experience the same amount of emotional turmoil as with a person in his mid-fifties. It all boils down to the experiences that they have been through in their lifetime. A good example of a book that has a protagonist who makes a big change in his life is Sherman Alexie’s YA novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.
Stray away from ‘The Chosen One’.
Try promoting equality instead.You’ll read in various “How to Write Teenage Fiction” articles that having a ‘chosen one’ in your novel would make it work. However, it has been overdone. It’s even considered a cliché now. As a youth advocate, one of the things that you would have to help young adults with is learning how to relate with others and how to see others as their equals. Try promoting equality in your YA novel for a change. Give each of your characters great traits that will make each of them equally remembered. A good example for a book that promotes equal rights is Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.
Open up your reader’s emotions.
In the popular young adult romance novel, The Fault in Our Stars, readers experienced a whirlwind of emotions, thanks to the tear-jerking dialogues between Gus and Hazel, and the unexpected twist where Gus died instead of Hazel who was supposedly more terminally ill at the beginning of the story. When you open up your reader’s emotion, they can get to know themselves better. You can help them discover emotions that they have not felt before. You can help them develop sympathy, empathy, affection for their loved ones, etc.
All this plus safe, easily readable choice of words with just a sprinkle of smart and elegant vocabulary here and again, allows a reader to appreciate and learn from an inspiring young adult novel. Good luck with yours!