Monday, May 20, 2013

How to Woo the Teenage World With Your Novel: Exploring YA Cliche 1

YA fiction is all the rave these days, and it may come as a surprise, but you can be the offer of one of these golden pieces of literature. All you need is time, a dream, something to write with, and a touch of insanity. I am here to help you through this long but rewarding journey of crafting a successful YA fiction story.
Step One: The Main Idea
You are going to need something to keep your plot on track, so what do you want your story to be about? Don't know? That's okay! You see, there are always "trends" in YA, so you can know exactly what to write about. Basically, you just take the same basic plotline everyone else is, make it your own, and hope you developed your characters well enough that it distracts from the fact that your writing is sub-par and your idea is unoriginal.
Lucky for you, one doesn't need to be a good writer to get a book published. Just ask Stephanie Meyer and all the bank she made from that movie deal.
A good place to start today is with "dystopia". (The whole vampire stage seems to be coming to an end, so I would avoid that one. Keep watch for the change in trend through.)
Not sure what Dystopia is? Read Orwell's 1984. Or just go to the YA section of your bookstore and pick a shiny new hardcover from the shelves. There is about a 75% you will find something Dystopian.
Change a few minor details, make up some funny words, and BAM! You have a lovely original idea to sell.
Step Two: The Characters
Begin with figuring out your protagonist. They can be anyone, but you might as well just make it female. Ladies, your male voice will probably be "sensitive" and "kind" enough to have estrogen, so just skip all that together. (Still, do whatever you want. But don't say I didn't warn you.) Men, you don't have to make it a female, and I will explain what to do if you want to keep your character male.
If your protagonist is female...
Make her sixteen years old. Everyone can connect with a sixteen year old. It sounds old enough where they can have some freedom, but still young enough that she is a teenager. Also, stress the fact that she has NEVER had a real relationship. Never-been-kissed, even better. She is not absolutely gorgeous, but she won't be frieghtening any horses either. Of course, within the novel she has to have at least one incredibily attractive love interest (we will get to that later) into her. It doesn't matter that she spent the first 16 years of her life single. Suddenly, she is wanted. 
If your protagonist is male...
Also around the age of sixteen. Never really had much luck with ladies, even though he is a total fox. A bit socially awkward maybe.

Regardless of the gender, the protagonist usually has something special about them. Either they developed powers, are unnaturally good at something, or found out that - whoops - they are not actually human! Rarely do we find an ordinary person placed in extraordinary situations.

Now, for the love interest. If your love interest is female, it doesn't really matter. You want to know where the money is? Explosions and fangirls. Now, the explosions you can do anywhere. Fangirls? They need a guy to fan over, and you are going to give them one, dammit.

First of all, he has to be attractive. Not only is he attractive, but you describe him as being "demigodly" or "so hot that Sirus is jealous." He is so good looking, that his great figure and orgasmic voice should be illegal. 

But does this physical masterpiece let it all get to his head? You bet it does. But only on the outside. His slightly Narcissistic, hilarious badass behavior is incredibly charming, but he reveals to be a secret romantic. Give him a sexy and/or monosyllabic name like Damien or Jack.

Basically, your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to make these fangirls as shallow as possible because they will never find a boy in reality who can ever compare to the fictional tall drink of water that you let them down.

Step Three: The Romance
There are two ways you can do this.
The first, "You're the One That I Want"
Remember our fine-ass male character? Even though just about any straight girl or gay boy would sell their soul for a night with him, he is going to be hot for your protagonist. Is there a reason she has never been kissed? Maybe, maybe not. But that doesn't matter, because her world is going to be blown apart. You better have some steamy scenes, because you will want to make bank on those.

The second, "This Is Not a Goddamn Triangle"

It is a V. You see, your protagonist has not one, but two (or possibly more) potential bachelors for her. And, hot damn, they are both so perfect, she can't decide. Of course, she must not be thinking what a normal teenage girl would think, "Aw, hell yes!" but rather must complain and bitch that she cannot decide between the two perfect guys after her. (Note: one guy should be the friendly, funny, practical choice, while the other is the mysteriously sexy bad boy.)

Step Four: You Have A Heart? You Don't Have A Heart.
Is there that character that all the fangirls fall in love with? The love interest that everyone wants your character to be with? Someone who deserves everything? The sweet girl? The funny, sexy guy?
Kill him.
I don't care if tears are pouring down your face when you do it. You kill that character before you have the chance to change your mind. You don't even do it in a nice way. You kill them over something stupid, or once their dreams are about to come true, or don't even spend more than a page on the death. If you cannot collect and drink the tears of your readers, you were not heartless enough.

Step Five: If All Else Fails...Add Zombies.
Everyone likes a good zombie story. Come on, make it a disease breakout, or put some magic shit in. Doesn't really matter. I'm telling you zombies.
I want to be a good example for you. So, I am going to end this part, promise a sequel, and if you are lucky, it will come out before you drop dead. Hey, it's not like I am going to charge you for it (like real novels) or pull another cliche by leaving you han

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