I’m starting to think that I really suck at this whole writing YA thing.
And I’m usually a fairly self-confident writer.
I think it’s mostly because I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA HOW TO REALLY WRITE A TEENAGER.
Don’t get me wrong, I love these characters. I have a veritable herd of characters, some good, some less good. There’s a perfect blur between the lines of who is actually the hero so it gives me a little more room to play with the thoughts and emotions of these guys and girls. And I have a pretty good story to make them work through.
My problem is that my characters are slowly becoming tropes and stereotypes of what you see in television and film and in other books and stuff. I don’t even know at this point if these are things that teenagers go through anymore. (I mean, are we all pod people now? Have we done away with standardized testing and everyone just gets along cuz of the drugs int he water fountains? TELL ME WHAT HIGH SCHOOL IS LIKE THESE DAYS!!!) I’m really afraid that the personalities are just that though: shallow tropes and flimsy stereotypes.
I suppose it’s okay though. My characters aren’t typical teens. And it’s not like I’m writing about a sex-goddess. (Although, there’s a definite possibility that she will legitimately show up int he next book in the series. THE GODS DO EXIST IN THIS SERIES YOU GUYS.)
So I have these really awesome characters who have distinct personalities even if they are stereotypes. I’ve got the manwhore, the bookworm, the dumb jock, the less dumb jock, the pretty boy, the emo, the goth and the greaser.
Gods, I sound like I’m writing some sort of horrible fan fiction.
I promise that these characters aren’t as two-dimensional as they seem. There’s a really great conflict at the heart of the story, but I feel that these tropes are almost played out in mainstream.
On the other hand, they wouldn’t be stereotypes and tropes if they weren’t common, right? Tropes exist for a reason, it’s just properly utilizing them that makes your work not suck.
Ugh. I’m having a serious self-doubt attack here.
How do you make your characters less stereotypical when writing a high school scenario? Is it possible? Leave me a comment so I can figure this crap out please!