I'm pretty excited about taking on Year of the YA Novel, so today I'm sharing some links for information on writing for teens.
Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies - this is a cheat sheet with lots of tips on writing for teens.
Radio National - The Book Show - How to Write YA Fiction - download the audio file to hear a talkback show on writing YA fiction.
10 Top Issues to Address in YA Fiction - this came from discussions with teens at my last high school. They were very honest about issues that were important to them, these can be the basis for your conflict and your theme. Some of their responses might surprise you.
My top tip for writing YA fiction? A non-judgemental voice. Yes teen pregnancy is a good edgy topic for a novel. No, we do not want to encourage a bunch of teens to rush out and get pregnant. BUT. If you are writing from the teen perspective, you have to be honest about their feelings, you have to be truthful about describing the rush of endorphins experienced with a first kiss, and the desire to take things further. You can't just skip straight to the consequences, otherwise you'll be like the coach in Mean Girls, "Don't have sex because you'll get pregnant and die."