Friday, June 17, 2011

Adult Characters in YA Novels

Okay, so you're writing a young adult novel and you can't have your under-eighteen characters running wild without adult guidance. At the same time you don't want to parent your characters or hold their hands while they do everything. Let's face it, teens make mistakes and don't think like adults. It's why adults know so much, they've already been there and done that. So what are you to do?

Insert adults as roadblocks! That's right, I said it, make the adults in the story nothing more than a hurdle the teen protagonist and company must jump over to get to their desired destination. Think about it. How often do your own children, teens, get irritated that YOU are in THEIR way? For me I think it is daily. The fact that I ask my daughter to get up and go to school or do her homework is a tragedy in and of itself each day. I'm sure she could think of several things to do instead of what I tell her to. She makes plans only to have me spoil them with my own ideas.

Honestly, I can't think of many young adult novels I've read recently that have adult figures helping the teen figures out. And if they are present they still tend to cause more issues. Of course the character can "lose" the adult, ditch them in a sneak out of sorts.

Do this to your young adult characters. They'll thank you in the end, and it will seem more realistic, too.

Your Turn -> What is you view on adult characters in young adult novels?

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