Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Secret to YA Novels

Ssshh, please don't tell anyone that there's a formula to writing novels. They'll think we're hacks.

So I've decided to study the YA books (that's YOUNG ADULT for all you 1.5 new readers who think I'm speaking in CIA code) that we all covet and adore. Anyways, the thing I'm doing is writing very, very short chapters that end just-like-that. Like you've walked into a door or fallen off a cliff, but not in any violent way.

Because teenagers have the attention spans of ants. This is not a knock. They just do. I still do and I'm an old teenager. So in order to write to them, for them, about them, I keep my chapters VERY short.

Not like this [      ]. But like this []. Seven pages max.

Eight is too much, but you can slip in a few here and there. Just don't go crazy.

Four are ideal.

Two-three are Super-Ideal-Plus.

And, then the cherry on the chapter-cake is when it just ends. Ever see those poor soon-to-be-dead soaps where no one says "Bye," like normal people in real life do?

Example: "Jackson, are you serious? You boinked Jenna and now you want me to forgive you?" And he says while staring at her no less: "Yeah."

End of Scene. End of phone conversation. End of chapter.

That's how it works. And it keeps people tuned in, especially teens. Go see for yourself. They do not say "goodbye, or have a nice day, or Bye, bye." They just end it.

I hope this is helpful. I'm not saying goodbye, but gotta go! (Slams door behind her.)

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