Tag Archives: Jennifer

How to Write Epic Young Adult Characters

Woohoo!  If you’ve been hanging out here long enough, you know I am a perpetually long-lived teenager. Writing a teen voice is natural to be because, well, I kinda still talk like that. Ya know?

But for some who may have given in to the peer pressure of growing up, finding that authentic teenage voice might be a little hard.

Today, I invited author Jennifer DiGiovanni to chat about writing a really believable teenager. Take it away, Jennifer!


Advice for Ex-Teenagers: How to Write Epic Young Adult Characters

Writing for teens means getting into their mindset.

You might call yourself an ex-teen, a teen plus or a former young adult but you still need to be able to empathize with the challenges faced by today’s young generation to write relatable stories.

Here are five tips to consider when you’re writing epic teen characters.

Ask Teens for Input

Have an actual teenager (or 2) read your book. You may be surprised at their reactions. If you have your own teens at home, chances are they’ll be happy to tell you about the overly detailed, boring parts of your manuscript. (My most recent critique: You sure do use a lot of adjectives!). If you don’t have any teens in your family, seek out a young adult reading group at your local library. If you’re willing to pay for their reading time, many teenage book fans will be happy to give you their opinions.

Learn from those who write specifically for teens

When I first started writing, I attended a long string of local writers’ workshops. I met mystery writers and romance writers. But, it wasn’t until I sought feedback from authors who’d devoted their careers to writing for teens that I truly felt their advice start to click. From story ideas to dialogue, kids need to relate to your writing. I‘ve found that I’ve learned the most from authors who are successful at connecting with a younger reading demographic.

Stay up to date on technology

Today’s kids communicate differently. No longer do they share one phone per household which is hanging on the wall in the center of the kitchen. Entire conversations take place via text message and as writers, we need to portray modern technology authentically in a teen novel. Texting, social media posting and Face Time have replaced landlines and even emails. If your novel doesn’t reference any form of modern communication, teens will notice and your book won’t feel relevant to them.

Interact with teens and ask them about their interests

With so many exciting new technologies available in schools today, kids are working with highly advanced robotics and artistic media. Expand your writing by creating characters who have unique interests appealing to today’s young adults. Don’t be shy about interacting with your audience through young writers’ workshops or other community organizations.

But … don’t forget your personal teen experience

Authentic teen fiction connects readers with a highly emotional time in everyone’s life. Teens are all about firsts – first love, taking the first step toward independence, or trying something for the first time which ultimately becomes a life-long hobby or career. When writing, consider your own teen experiences. Recapture the excitement, or challenges, of your teenage years within a unique and modern framework.
Writing for teens as an adult gives you a unique perspective. I know that I never could have written an effective parent-child relationship before I was a parent. Having survived your teen years, you’re able to look back on an important time in your life and write about what impacted you most, which in turn should help today’s teen readers to gain inspiration from your stories.


School days don’t get easier just because you’re a senior! It’s the final semester of senior year, and everyone at Harmony High can’t wait to find out the results of the Senior Superlative votes! But the balloon bursts in Sadie’s face when she discovers she’s been voted “Most Likely to Get Married” to Andy – a boy she’s never dated or ever thought of as a potential boyfriend. Completely and utter mortification sets in. To prove high school means something more than a Senior Superlative award, Sadie and her best friend Jana decide to create their own list of awesome non-academic achievements to be completed before graduation. Yet, the harder Sadie works to show everyone she’s not the least bit attracted to Andy, the more appealing he becomes. Typical for the girl who can’t seem to achieve anything important, even the completion of one lousy college application. When senioritis kicks in and the school year dwindles down to mere weeks, Sadie decides to risk her good girl reputation to prove that an Awesome Achievement means much more than any Senior Superlative vote. By the time Sadie realizes her epic screw-up, she just might have lost her chance at the prom date of her dreams.

Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Releasing in September: My Disastrous Summer Vacation (a novella) – and – My Junior Year of Loathing

#FreeFridays Giveaway! #Win a #free copy of “HUSH, LITTLE BABY” Everyone loves #freestuff and #freebooks!

Yay!  It’s Free Friday!

First of all, congratulations to last week’s winner. Celestine Nudana chose my anthology “For the Love of Christmas” as her title.

Enjoy, Celestine!

Free_Fridays!

Now this week, we are happy to have….

PKO_Alien 1 0003414

Me!

Jennifer13Umm, no.  Actually we have Deborah M. Piccurelli here today.  She’s an author.

No!  You will interview me!

Jennifer13No no no!  Not this time.  You don’t have a book to give away.

Alien Huh Close

Huh?  Since when do you need to give away abook to get on here?

Jennifer13It’s new.  This is Freebee Friday.  I’ll interview someone, and then give away their book.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387

For nothing?

Yeah.  Pretty much.

Well, what fun is that?

It’s great fun, if you win.

Alien PKO_0003410

Hmmm.  Can I interview her?  I’ll be good.  I promise.

I don’t know.

Pleaaaeeeeeese

Jennifer13Ergh.  Okay, but BE NICE.

This is a very nice author with a nice, wholesome book.  Pretend to be a good girl. Okay?

.

Alien SmileYay! Okay, here is my very first interview!

Cheer me on, Earthlings!

.

Alien Zig ZagAlien Zig ZagAlien Zig Zag

PKO_Alien 3 0003387So, who are you and what do you want?

Like Jennifer said, my name is Deborah M. Piccurelli and I am an author who writes about controversial issues. My goal is to help stop heinous acts performed by evil people. I plan to give a portion of the proceeds from every book published from here on out, to a charity that works against them. It is one way for me to contribute to Kingdom work.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Why do you think your book is good enough to talk about with someone as great as me?

Because it’s for a worthy cause, and I put my whole heart and soul into it.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Oh!  I know about putting heart and soul into things… Like taking over the world!  Is this about taking over the world?

No. Sorry.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387No? Then why would anyone want to read it?

It has unique characters, a unique story, and it contains humor, romance, and suspense.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Well, I guess those things can be fun, too.

So, entice me.  What’s it about?

Here’s the back cover blurb:

Investigative journalist, Amber Blake, is a little person bent on payback for the death of her average-sized twin sister. Enlisted by her former partner and estranged husband, Evan, she poses as a counselor in an abortion clinic to expose the doctor responsible for fetal harvesting. As a Christian, she struggles with concealing her beliefs to maintain her cover, while the doctor’s romantic overtures tumble her stomach. Amber agrees to date him for the sake of the story . . . but nothing prepares her for what’s behind a mysterious door in his office.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Wow.  That sounds really really deep!  Are you sure she doesn’t blow him up at the end?  Because that would be a great ending.

No.  Sorry, no explosions.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Are you sure?  Would you consider writing one in?

No.

.

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Come on!  I have to get at least one explosion story out of you.  Have you ever fantasized about exploding things?

Not really. 

Am I boring?

PKO_Alien 3 0003387Do you really want me to answer that?

.

Jennifer13Hey!  You said you would be nice!!!!!

Not everyone wants to explode things!  This sounds like a great, really tense story!  What an interesting and kinda Creepy premise.

Thank you, Jennifer.

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Jennifer13Okay, Deborah, let’s give her a taste of your writing.  That should win her over. 

Oh!  I know! Describe your favorite dessert to her.

Right now, I’m thinking of Olive Garden’s Lemon Cake. The lemon custard filling is smooth and silky on my tongue, almost melting away as it passes through the mouth and down the throat. The taste is simultaneously slightly tart/slightly sweet. The delicate layer cake that sandwich’s the filling is light and airy. It, too, seems to melt on the tongue, and the discreet vanilla flavor comes together with the fine sugar powder that’s sprinkled over top of the cake to create a quick burst of sweetness before it’s swallowed, and then it’s gone . . . until you fork up the next morsel.

Alien Huh PKO_0003376Okay okay!  You win!  Is there an Olive Garden I haven’t exploded yet?

Yes!  Here it is!

Now, how does one use one of these map things…

Jennifer13Okay, Deborah, quick, while she’s distracted, what are you giving away this week?

.

I must say this has been a truly DIFFERENT experience.  I’m giving away a copy of my book, Hush, Little Baby or if the winner prefers, a .pdf version.

Jennifer13Awesomesauce!  Thanks for stopping by, and I’m really sorry for the Little Blue Lady.

Okay guys, comment below for a chance to win Hush, Little Baby by Deborah M. Piccurelli in your choice of paperback or PDF.  If you want to know more about Deborah, Check out her web site here.

Don’t forget to comment!  A random winner will be chosen on Monday.

Good_Luck!

JenniFer_EatonF