YA Fiction – Writing Character’s Authentic to Your Audience

This is a short video I wrote and recorded back in September, based on an essay I wrote when I was 17 about some of the issues I had with YA Fiction.

I’m honestly grateful to my 17 year old self, because when I stumbled across the essay (which was poorly formatted I might add), it made me reflect on my current work.

I actually worried if I was letting my younger self down. However, instead of going into a full on panic, I reflected on my own experiences at that age (which is when I started to write my debut). I realized that rather than my child and teen character’s being unauthentic…my adult character’s in their twenties were unrealistically too mature and that was something my editor also pointed out.

That is something I never would have realized, had I not been the same age as my adult MC’s now, versus when I started this series in high school. Experience can honestly, help with authenticity.

Yes, not all experiences are the same, and every generation faces different situations that sort of…shape their culture/period…however, my advice….and please note that I’m not some amazing expert or anything, I’m just a person who reads and writes stuff (yes, stuff).

Anyway, my advice is to try and avoid writing a stereotype or cliché version of what you think people act like at certain ages. Your character isn’t just a child/teen/adult, they’re a person with feelings and opinions and possible a strange obsession with very extravagant looking sock patterns.

I hope you like my little HSM clip there. Yes…you can be the basketball guy and the musical guy. You can do both. You are amazing, fantastic and talented! You go Glen Coco!

What…what were we talking about again?

By the way, I have sour cherry blasters and I’m really happy about it, even though they’re not the healthiest editing snack.

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