Wednesday, November 17, 2010
6 Tips for Writing for Young Adults
William Kostakis. He wrote Loathing Lola when he was only 17. The story is about the ups and downs of being Australia’s newest teenage reality TV star. Sixteen-year-old Courtney Marlow struggles with friends, fame, love, loss and... Lola.
Below are some writing tips he offered for writing for young adults:
1. Write with passion. When William first started writing he often heard the advice, “find your audience”. But William suggested that “You are your own audience.” There is little point writing what you think will be popular. Many writers write what they think will sell but they aren’t necessarily writing from the heart. When we write with passion, we find our voice.
2. Try to capture the joy of youth. The appeal of youth is the joy of life, so even if you are writing a sad story, try to find the joy of life.
3. Write with honesty. When you write, don’t try to emulate someone else’s writing. Be confident enough to find your own voice. This will resonate with your readers.
4. Avoid being called an imposter. Sometimes it’s clear an older writer has written for a younger audience. William used the example of reading someone’s work where the author had described Facebook as the Facebook. Get at least one young adult reader to proof read your manuscript.
5. Not every character needs to be 3 dimensional. He suggested that sometimes stereotypes are true and gave the example of his grandmother who is “crazy, old and ethnic”. Also, we don’t have to spell out a character’s history all the time.
6. Write how you speak and keep it simple. You want people to understand you so write small words to reflect big ideas.
Do you have any other tips for writing for the Young Adult market? What's your favourite YA book at the moment and why?