Writing for Teens: How to Sound Like a Real Teenager

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Apply These Writing Techniques for Young Adult Audience

Ever wanted to create a convincing teenager character in your stories? You may want to think like a teenager again!


Teen novels are continually surging its popularity and gaining large attention. So if you’re planning to write a successful young adult novel, here are some writing tips on how to write teen character that sounds like one.

Revisit Youthful Memories

Recall your past memories, memories you regret or want to try again. The way you spoke with your friends, your unforgettable screw-ups and triumphs, enemies and friends you had, these are some of the few you can recollect and find inspiration from. Focus on the feeling you felt during that time. Then find interesting details that captivate your whole experience of being a teen.

Listen Real Close

Pay close attention to what music teens are listening to. Get in touch with the songs they are fond of, or how they construct words to convey their message. You can also visit videos of young YouTubers, teen bloggers, reviewers, and youth group forums.

You can listen on their conversations—topics about sex, juvenile delinquency, rebellion, love, and especially their view of life. If you truly listen and understand, you can find the voice of your teen character in no time for your novels.

Reunite With your High School Friends

One way to get in touch with your teenage self is to get in touch with your old high school friends. Writing teenage voice is nearly similar to writing your past experiences—still searching for own self, experiencing first times, and still vulnerable to pain and sufferings in life. Gather and talk to them about your memories together when you were still young, and soon after, you’ll find the inner youth in you.


Let the Voice Come to Life

Don’t create half-baked voice and personality for your characters. Since creating a character to life is the hardest thing to do, let it grow naturally. You have to write, rewrite, and shape your character’s words until it feels like your character takes you over, instead of you as the writer.

Let your character take the tip of your pen, and you’ll be under their skin and know their voice genuinely.

Write As if You’re Still ONE

Your teenage persona is still there, just waiting to be awakened. Many YA authors believe that we are always teens at heart, still burdened with anxieties, anger, complicated love, and boredom. But they are hidden deep inside. So unearth these feelings of fear and joy. And when you write, don’t think you write for teens; write as if you are a teen.

Experiment with the Voice

Find the right voice that feels true to a character’s personality and emotions. Try saying what you wrote, its accent and tone, to really feel what your character is really saying.

Writing teenage characters can be daunting. Understand that your character has complex feelings like your readers so make your character relatable—in emotions, feelings, and their perspective—like you’re speaking directly to your teenage audience.


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