As a newbie young adult fiction, you might be thinking about how to land a great book in the market that your readers will love and recommend to their friends and family as well. To make your first book a success, you might want to follow the following five tips that can make you a great young adult book writer.
Without wasting time, let us jump straight to the list of tips.
Choose an Exciting Theme
Allow your vibes to shine through the writing and focus on writing something that excites you. You might want to brainstorm ideas – maybe you like writing about laser beams, utopias, and even dragons. Whatever excites you – write about that.
Avoid writing something that you think will be popular – always write something that excites you and you think your target audience will find relatable.
The underlying reason is that if you love your story, you are more likely to give it your all; you will also be able to walk through all the hard times, self-doubt and all other trials and tribulations that come with writing.
So, make sure you choose a theme you are genuinely excited to write about.
Know Your Characters
Another tip for writing great YA fiction is to know your characters – you should know the good, bad, and the ugly. You must actually sit down and study your characters. Believe it or not, this is the most important aspect of writing a great young adult novel.
You must know the young adults themselves – you must know them inside out. As an author, you are the fabricator of the story, so you must know their good and bad qualities and the things that make them ugly.
When we say ugly, we aren’t referring to the characters’ looks but everything that has to do with how they cave into the nasty things they are capable of doing when pushed to a certain point. Also, you should know the dark and nasty things they look away from and pretend like aren’t part of who they are.
As an author, you must know all aspects of your characters. These are all the things that are going to direct how the characters interact with the plot, the world, and how they interact with other characters around them.
Knowing your characters inside out will really help you avoid potential plot holes. This will also help you avoid the depiction of flat characters who simply aren’t authentic to themselves.
In simple words, don’t be afraid of your characters’ flaws.
Study the World of Your Characters
Make sure to study the world of your characters – you need to know what their world is all about. Are they running from war cruxes, or are they spending their days and nights at the public library to hide away from a dangerous gang?
Before starting the story, you will need to know what their world is all about and how their culture has shaped them in a certain way. The world is a very big part of young adult fiction – especially if you are writing in the first- or third-person narrative.
It is through the world that the characters perceive everything – the way the world comes off in the book is all based on how the characters see it. So always know how the world has shaped your characters – only then will you be able to write those small tiny details that make your story pop off the page.
The number one thing that really transforms people from their own homes into your book is the description of the world of your characters.
Comprehend the Plot Structure
As a young adult fiction newbie writer, you must know the plot structure of your story. It is immensely important to know whether your story has an internal plot or an external plot. If it is contemporary and a day-in-the-life plot, chances are you have a big internal plot.
If you are writing anything else, especially in the sci-fi fantasy genre – where the world plays a huge part in the life of your characters – and there is something greater than them happening, you are more likely dealing with an external plot.
However, an external plot doesn’t mean you cannot have a day-to-day internal plot. While fabricating and developing the plot, you must keep in mind the following aspects:
- Why are you telling their story?
- What makes this moment in the life of your characters so important?
If the answer depends on the moment that changed your characters and transformed them into better people, then you are dealing with an internal plot. However, if things are the way they are because some war started and your characters lost everything in the process – it is probably an external plot.
That said, if you decide to go with an internal plot, you must make sure that the character’s internal struggles get solved by the end of the book. You could, however, aim at presenting exceptional growth or regression in your characters.
Nonetheless, if external subplots are going on, you might leave it up to ambiguity if the subplots aren’t important to the character’s internal struggles. Once you hire the best young adult book editors, the professional can ensure that there are no potholes in the plot and that everything is cohesive and connected from the beginning to the end of your book.
Forget the Stereotypes
The last tip is to let go of all of your preconceived notions about what writing a young adult book is like. Instead, you might want to think of it as just like any other story – except that the protagonist happens to be between the ages of 13 and 18.
You might want to avoid becoming that author whose writing style is as if they are writing to teens rather than writing about teens. If you do that, you might come across as preachy and an amateur writer. That said, you certainly don’t want your writing to feel like that, so think about your young adult book as any other story.
You will also want your characters to be dealing with the issues that generally 13-18-year-olds deal with – wherever they live and whatever their culture is like.