Outta the Mouths of BabesJanuary 14, 2010 at 7:05 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments
When it comes to the Young Adult genre, language is important. In a book, you can’t have a teen talking like a 30-old-year-old woman, just like you can’t have a 30-year-old woman talking like a teen. It’s weird. So you have to use the right teen wordage – otherwise, it doesn’t sound authentic. As an example:
What? Oh, my god. Seriously? Crap. Yeah, I’m pretty much screwed. Life is, like… lame.
Let’s see how these words can transform a piece of literature into a truly great piece of YA literature.
It was pretty much the worst time ever and, yeah, the best time ever, it was like an age of wisdom, but everyone was stupid, it was the epoch of belief, but it didn’t make any sense, life was great, life was lame, everything was totally perfect, everything was made of crap, and oh my God, it was seriously screwed up.
True, I’m exaggerating here. Do teens really talk like that in everyday life? Most of us skew towards the more adult side of the spectrum. Ever-hyper narration can get annoying.
Nonetheless, experiment with inserting some verbiage like this into your writing if you don’t already. Especially with contemporary, a casual phrasing here or there (or everywhere, if that’s your style) is great. As long as you don’t overdose, yeah – it helps with nailing down the teenage voice, an area in which even teenage writers sometimes encounter problems.
Pretty much, you gotta like, get this lame thing. Seriously, right? What do you think?