How (Not) to Write a YA Novel

Writing YA can be hard, especially if you're not a teenager yourself. Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to add authenticity to your book. Just follow these simple steps, and you'll be on track to success in no time!*

1. Your characters need to talk like teenagers. Stuff their dialogue full of teenager-y words -- "Bae," "On fleek," "Goals," et cetera. And if they don't start every sentence with "OMG," you're doing it wrong.

2. Normal romances are boring. Make a love triangle for added suspense. Or even better, a love quadrangle! Of course, your characters will fall in love within moments of seeing each other because of their raging teenage hormones (and because character development is overrated).

3. All teenagers are stupid! Make your characters do the dumbest things you can think of for no reason. That way, they'll be #relatable to your readers.

4. No cussing. Teenagers are just kids, and so you should never, ever put cuss words in your YA book. Substitute words like "fiddlesticks" for the exact same effect.

5. Got some diverse characters? Make use of stereotypes! It's totally fine to make all your Asian characters super smart, and all your gay characters obsessed with fashion. Stereotypes are the easiest way to add diversity to a novel (and remember: character development is overrated).

6. Don't worry if your plot doesn't make sense. Teenagers are stupid. They won't notice.

7. If you're writing literary YA, use a lot of really weird metaphors and similes. "The roiling birds chattered eerily in the trees like foghorns." Yep. Perfect.

8. Your novel should be entirely in text message form for extra realism. Teens are always on their phones nowadays. They probably don't even know what a book is anymore.

So there you have it! Just follow these simple steps, and your book will make MILLIONS.

*This is a joke post. Please, for the love of celery, do not do any of the things mentioned above.

Oh, yes, and all teenagers stand like this. Always.

Do you have any more tips for how (not) to write a YA novel? Or some actual tips for writing a YA novel? Share in the comments!

UPDATE: I wrote a serious version of this blog post here.


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