|My 2nd son's prom group|
*granny voice* Back in my day... our phones had cords, and our parents couldn't trace us. Heh, heh!
Ahem. Yes, that made me feel really OLD. Even though I often act like a kid more than my kids do! It's funny how technology changes, but kids and their growing pains don't.
So, I feel qualified to say, I know teens. And after reading some good and some bad YA, I'm here to tell you what works and what doesn't (IMHO) And some other avenues to try...
10 Terrible YA Stereotypes -
- They hate their parents
- They think parents and teachers are clueless
- They hate school and authority
- They all want to drink and smoke pot
- Jocks and Cheerleaders are dumb
- Smart teens are weak and shy
- They have no direction
- They like to show off
- They're all promiscuous
- They're all reckless drivers
Hints and Suggestions on Avoiding the Teen Tropes -
- Many of today's teens are under tremendous stress - their schedules are usually overloaded with extracurricular activities, sports, and jobs in addition to their homework and social life. They don't get a lot of sleep and they really need it. This could be a major cause of their snarkiness. And many of them know exactly what they want to do in life.
- Being so busy and responsible, many teens avoid bad behaviors that could get them fired or keep them from getting scholarships. But there will always those who like to break the rules, too - or think they know better - or try to work around the rules...
- Most teens love their families, but seem to take them for granted for meals and necessities. They like spending time with the parentals, but prefer the company of those their own age going through similar stuff. And those conversations can run deep.
- Give characters unexpected characteristics, the tall kid loves chess not basketball, the chubby girl is the most popular of the group, the fullback is a great babysitter, and the nerdy girl drives a Harley. Twist it up!
- And if you must use a stereotype, show the reader there is a reason for it. Don't assign a characteristic and walk away - like, that's just how she is. Make them own it. Then they can face it and fix it (character arc!)
- One trope that holds true and carries over to adults is Phone Addiction - so many of us walk around checking our phones every few seconds! Go ahead and use this one. But if you want a twist, write a character who doesn't have a phone or quits cold turkey - that would make a great story!
And someone else who knows about teens is my Shout Out of the week:
We're just in time for Elizabeth's new release and giveaway!
by Elizabeth Arroyo
Dystopian, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Survival Rule Number One: Eat before being hunted.
Too bad sixteen-year-old Zoe is an expert at breaking rules. With abilities she can't explain, Zoe has survived a world infected by violent hybrids. She's also had help from an unexpected ally, Morph--part of the Arcane: an elite force of teenagers from an Alliance of space stations.
After the Arcane are destroyed in an explosion, Morph is sent on a new mission: to capture a dangerous hybrid, but is torn between duty and his attraction to Zoe. With threats to the planet, Morph knows Zoe’s chances are limited. Trying to save her, he could betray the Alliance.
When Zoe recovers memories of her past, she realizes Morph might be the real enemy. For Morph and Zoe, the world is more dangerous than ever. And trusting each other is the key to them living to see another day.
Elizabeth spent most of her younger years as an avid reader with a wild imagination which led her to write her first manuscript at the age of fourteen. Elizabeth enjoys spending time with her family, listening to music, and binge watching her favorite shows. Influenced by the gamers in her household and her love of action adventure, Elizabeth delved into the realm of science fiction and wrote her first full-length science fiction/dystopian YA novel—BEFORE DAWN. Elizabeth is also the author of THE SECOND SIGN and THE SECOND SHADOW, a dark YA paranormal romance series, and DARKNESS, a YA paranormal thriller.
Personally, I've been friends with Elizabeth for ages. One of my first blog friends and so glad we still are. We've come along way in this supportive community! And make sure you enter Elizabeth's Giveaway!
Not to mention, my Beastly Summer Fun Giveaway. So much free stuff is awesome!
Thanks for stopping by & Have a great week!