Before Writing a Young Adult Novel, Consider These Points
Teacher’s Guide on How to Write Books for Reluctant Middle School Readers
TRUTH: Students won’t be jumping up and down for joy if you tell them to read the first three chapters of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre.
They would rather be out with friends, or get some snooze, than plough through the story that they can’t relate with.
Teaching literature to young adults can be challenging—you’ll have to compete with mobile phones, video games, and social media—especially if students can’t relate to the book’s characters, themes, or settings.
Now, thousands of good books for young adults have been published here and there, and picking the right one to use in the classroom can be tricky. Have you thought about writing your very own YA novel yourself?
You better pick up that pen and start crafting your own YA novel. The best fiction book for teens are made through the following strategies.
- Think like a teenager.
YA characters do make mistakes like they would in real life, but they also make decisions for themselves that could sometimes feel very adult.
When writing a young adult novel, transform yourself into the younger version of you and fill your story with concepts that they would understand. Write while keeping your readers’ preferences and language in mind.
- Avoid common YA clichés.
Common YA clichés include concepts like:
- A story that revolves around a character who later learns that he or she is the chosen one, and nobody else can save the world apart from him or her.
- The main character was orphaned at a very young age, and was later forced to live with his or her evil foster parents.
- A socially awkward protagonist who is against any form of social interaction, and only likes staying in the bedroom playing video games or reading books.
- Use a first-person POV.
First-person POV means simple prose, and simple prose attracts wider readership. There is nothing wrong with complex prose, but your goal here is to help students develop a love for reading. Simple prose makes reading more enjoyable for young readers.
- Fulfill your readers’ dreams.
Most YA novels are often about characters being courageous, passionate, creative, and unstoppable. They would do anything to achieve their goals, and your teenager readers can see themselves in your characters. When their favorite character succeeds, they will feel a sense of fulfillment as well.