How to Write for Teens

Step One: Think about what teens like to read. As an adult, you sure do know the answer to that one! Cuz you have market research! And aren’t those vampire books soooo popular? So let’s make those! Oh, and also, let’s make lots of books about “growing up” and the changes that come with that. Yeah, all those confusing emotional changes. Then, let’s make all the books have “meanings”, too. Because teens will read it and not notice that we’re really just lecturing them! But make sure you don’t use any grown-up words, because weak-minded teens might not comprehend– I mean, know— what you’re saying in the dialogue– I mean, talking parts. Oh, and make sure to add some slang and abbreviations, like this: “Yo, my homefries. Wanna come hang?” “IDK, let me ask my parental unit. BRB.” “Fo shizzle, dude.” “K, I’ll CU L8R.”  

Step Two: Once your book is finished, you want to make sure you have a catchy title, one that will really resonate with teens. Some examples are: The Hottie Vampire I Sit Next to in Class Who I didn’t Know was a Vampire Even Though He’s Remarkably Pale and Has Fangs; My Parents are Jerks; The Zombie Prom Date; Liar Liar Bras on Fire; The Mom is Dead and the Dad is Withdrawn; AngstAngstAngst. Now all you have to do is write up a little description for your book, which will go something like: “Sophie is an outcast. She has no friends and a pitiful life. her parents suck and won’t let her do anything. Finally she meets a cute guy who is coincidentally very popular and likes her even though she is of course a total geek, and also wears high-tops because she can kick your butt. But is her new BF human? She will soon find out….” Then get a stock photo of, say, a pair of Converse sneakers, and make that your cover. Now publish your book.

Congratulations! You’ve just written and published a book that is exactly like every other book on the shelf! Teens will love it! Now you can be as rich as that guy who wrote Twilight! or those Hippie Snotter books! Those were written by the same person, right? Oh, and your book will be made into a movie on Disney Channel! Except of course all those swearwords you put in to appeal to teens will have to be omitted. Still, Yay You, Adult Writing For Teens!! You’re fab!!

Ahhh. I feel much better now. All that sarcasm was building up pressure in my brain. But maybe I used too many grownup words in my little piece up there… well, basically it boils down to: I Teen. Library Stinky. Boooooo. Angstangstangst.

TTYL my salty homefries,

PS: this was going to be a post about how to fix the whole literary world in reagrds to teen and YA, but this came out of left field and I didn’t think my more serious essay would make a good compainion to it, so… another day, yes?

3 thoughts on “How to Write for Teens

  1. Francis

    I remember going through the stacks of books in the old days at the library when we looked up our books on index cards!! I can’t remember what books were popular during those days, but I do remember always having trouble finding good books to read. I think this is still true today. The adult fiction market really isn’t that much better than the teen market. Love you, Pen!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s