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How to Write for Teens Without Sounding Like an Adult Writing for Teens

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❶The only one that ever grew an ending took 40 different rewrites and eventually got finished as a novel when I was 39… and it was good.

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Character Worksheets
Writing strategies for teenagers
1. Time travel.

By this point Austen was already an indiscriminate and precocious reader, devouring pulp fiction and classic literature alike; what she read, she soon began to imitate and parody. Unlike many teenage writings then and now, these are not secret or agonized confessions entrusted to a private journal and for the writer's eyes alone.

Rather, they are stories to be shared and admired by a named audience of family and friends. Devices and themes which appear subtly in Austen's later fiction run riot openly and exuberantly across the teenage page.

Drunkenness, brawling, sexual misbehavior, theft, and even murder prevail. It is as if Lydia Bennett is the narrator.

She has created a digital edition of Jane Austen's Fiction Manuscripts , the print edition of which is due to be published by OUP in She is the author of Jane Austen's Textual Lives: In honour of the th anniversary of Jane Austen's death, we have created a quiz to help you determine how well you know the beloved novelist. Are you an Austen expert? Or do you need to brush up on some of her greatest works?

Take the quiz to find out! Three notebooks of Jane Austen's teenage writings survive. The earliest pieces probably date from or , around the time that Jane, aged 11 or 12, and her older sister and collaborator Cassandra left school. Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford.

It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Write down the feelings you get from them. This is a simple one: Failing that, eavesdrop shamelessly on teenagers. Plant yourself at the places they hangout—the mall, coffee shops, school sporting events, etc. Teenagers broadcast their lives these days to the nth degree.

Take advantage of that. YouTube is full of videos of teens talking, giving advice, and just being plain. Tuning in is a great way to pick up the flow of their language. For getting the voice on the page: Once I have a clear image of my character, I have a good idea of how that character sounds.

Image search high school photography studios. Now, what does he sound like? Copy and paste the picture onto your document and have this person introduce himself to you. More so with YA writing than with other genres, I suggest writing the complete story out first, then worrying about revising the voice later. This is so you can focus on one thing at a time, instead of plotting and getting the voice right at the same time.

Try to write it in a voice close to what you want, but focus on getting the story down first with no pressure of getting the voice right. Something about being an adult just tightens you up. To write YA with authentic voice, you need to loosen up. Now, stand up, walk around the room maybe while chewing a piece of gum always good for loosening up! Teenagers have opinions on everything , so put them into your draft. You can trim back an overwritten passage much more easily than you can add voice to a sparse one.

Their vocabulary is common and accessible.


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We're in the process of moving the Go Teen Writers website onto a self-hosted site rather than Blogger. and we hope to be back to our normal blogging schedule next week! In the meantime, happy writing! Stephanie Posted by Stephanie Morrill at AM KIM CULBERTSON is the author of the YA novels Songs for a Teenage Nomad . Would you like to improve your writing skills? Would you like to share your writing with other young writers? If this sounds like you, then we'd like to invite you to showcase your writing skills by becoming a member of the Teen Writers' Club, for free.

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Want to make your YA characters more like real teenagers? This teenage writer talked to every teen she knows and came up with a list of the top 6 mistakes writers make when writing YA books. Find teen writing freelance work on Upwork. 4 online jobs are available.