Michigan-based YA author Carrie Harris will see the release of her first novel, NO PAIN, NO BRAIN, by Delacorte Press, Summer 2011.
In Carrie’s exciting and charming hand, the Undead have never been so alive.
I know something about Carrie that I bet you don’t: She fell off a cliff.
Carrie managed this spectacular feat while taking a Wilderness Rescue Course… learning how to save people who fall off cliffs.
Then she got her book published. In that order. Cause and effect? I’m not saying.
You can visit Carrie’s delightful writerly blog HERE. Drop by. Uh, but not from a cliff’s edge.
Writing Teen Voice
By Carrie Harris
My best advice for someone who's trying to write teen voice is pretty simple: Stop trying so hard!
Teen voice isn't about the latest gadgets or the most up-to-date slang, and honestly? By the time your book is on the shelf, your cutting edge gadgets will be obsolete and the slang will be sooo yesterday.
It's not about run on sentences, or, like, a healthy sprinkling of, like, the word "like." A good teen voice can integrate any or all of these elements, but if you take them away, it'll still be good. Like, really.
So how do you write good teen voice?
Unfortunately, I don't think it can be reduced to a series of tips or list of check boxes. It can't be taught. There's a simple reason for this: All teens are not the same.
There's the good girl, the band geek, the quarterback and prom queen. There are chess nerds and drama nerds and computer nerds, and even within these groups there's a huge amount of variance.
I've met teens who are more mature than most 30-year-olds I know, and some that seem to be permanently stuck at age seven.
What it comes down to for me is less finding a teen voice and more finding my character's voice. That voice is certainly informed by the environment, the character's experiences, and so on, and these things are strongly influenced by age. I think that as long as your voice is consistent with the character's background, it will ring true regardless of age.
Wow. Don't I sound like I know what I'm talking about? I feel all kewl now.