A question I get asked often is: “How do you write teen fiction?”
Okay, firstly, I’ve never really grown up. I still read YA books. They are the best. So, of course, I write that genre. It’s not just a hobby - it’s a passion and I love it!
As a writer, I am a firm believer that you cannot write a genre you’re not reading yourself. To write teen fiction, you must do your research and immerse yourself in that genre. Discover trending and tired topics, so you don’t make the mistake of writing a whole book only to find out that the story DOES NOT SELL (that’s sorely disappointing).
Also, I like to point out that nothing is 100% original anymore. As creative people, we pull from different things and turn them into something new by cultivating a different spin or taking a new point of view. We adjust what’s out there to make it original again. There are hundreds of stories about witches and warlocks, but J.K. Rowling came out with an entire world of magic that we loved so much, we turned her books into movies, bookish merchandise, and even an amusement park! Anything is possible, but if you embed a piece of yourself in a story, you are already adding something new. Something that is uniquely you.
Lastly, teen fiction can be a hard market to break into. It’s highly saturated and can be difficult to please everyone. Reviewers may think your content is too mature while others say it’s too immature. Teen fiction is tricky because it appeals to an older and younger demographic. As I mentioned, I still read and love YA fiction and I’m in my mid-twenties (but forever a kid at heart!). You have to keep in mind that despite those reviews, your demographic is from 13-18 years old. It’s important to remember who you’re writing this story for.
At the end of the day, passion is passion. If you’re passionate about your work then keep going! Writing a story is the easy part, editing is always trickier. But I’ll talk more about editing in next week’s post, so stay tuned fellow book nerds!