First, let’s be clear about something. Teens are those budding youngsters above the age of 12 and below the age of 20. As you can see, this is indeed a wide range, and books written for someone who is twelve will certainly differ from books written for those at eighteen. Though different maturity levels require books on a different subject matter, all you need to know is that books for teens should be well written and about intriguing topics. There are a few tips you can keep in mind while writing books for teens.
Think from a teenager’s point of view
When writing, always keep in mind that you are writing for a teenager; try to think back when you were that age and think about what appeals to them. Get to know teens and ask them what they like to read. Don’t just listen to what they have to say; apply it in your writing. They are generally looking for thought provoking books written on subjects that fascinate them. Have a look on Goodreads to see what titles (and topics) are currently popular before starting to write.
Teenagers generally enjoy books that are logical. They have overcome the age where fairies and gnomes used to fascinate them. They are looking for well-written fiction and non-fiction books. This is the age when books influence their mind the most, so try to make your book to something that they will remember for the rest of their lives (hopefully for positive reasons!). Keep your writing quality as you would for adults, but try to keep the situations and experiences relevant to teenagers.
Avoid clichés like the plague
Don’t give them the same old love story (not unless you are writing a ‘Mills and Boon’ story). Don’t give them the same old ‘guy falling for his best friend’s girlfriend’ and the ‘cheerleader falling for the basketball player’ routine, as these are excessive clichés. Think of new characters and think of challenging situations. Make your readers analyze your characters, and make them as identifiable as possible. Each character should be unique. I still remember Howard Roark from the book – The Fountainhead. The character was so powerful, so convincing, so touching and hard to forget; make your work memorable to others.
Do not be patronizing
Teens are in an age where they don’t like being patronized or talked down to, even in books! You should avoid writing superficial stories and articles when teens are your audience. In case you don’t already know, teens have a mind and know how to use it! So, write intelligent stuff for them, and don’t underestimate them.
Have depth and meaning
It’s not necessary that everything written for teens should be dark and dreary. They are looking for something with inner depth and meaning. In this phase of life, teens crave for knowledge about unknown arenas like sex, violence and war. Do write about these subjects, but handle these issues by keeping the maturity level of your readers’ in mind. In cases of love stories, you do not need to be overly explicit and vulgar. Deliver your point, but do not get carried away with descriptions.
All you need to keep in mind is that teenagers are looking for interesting and intelligent literature. Think from a teen’s point of view and you will have the perfect manuscript and it’ll be ready to send to a manuscript editing company to be reviewed before publishing.