Writing the teenage voice-it’s really hard when you aren’t a teenager

As I mentioned in a previous post, I am actively participating in NaNoWriMo.   I am writing a young adult novel which involves teenagers (obviously).  I happen to LOVE young adult novels.  Seriously, can’t get enough.  So why not write one, right?

So, I’m just chugging right along until I have to write teenage dialogue….

Let me put this in perspective.  I have not been a teenager in almost 12 years. (HOLY SHIT I’M TURNING 30 IN LIKE 3 MONTHS) anyways…

I understand that in writing we have to write in the voice of other people ALL THE TIME.  I get that.  And I want it to be believable.

But when I think about teenage boys and what they probably sound like most of the time in real life I make this face….

Sometimes they are totally gross, right?!  People don’t want to read a book where the love interest is talking about doritos and boobs all the time.

So, I’m exaggerating quite a bit.

But, how do you find a balance between realistic characters and what people want to read?   Obviously, the love interest in my story is a teenage boy.  How do you make that person sound like a teenager while also being everything that the reader wants in a book crush?

Also, kids these days are pretty dang sophisticated and I don’t want to sound like some idiot pretending to be a teenager. ( I’ve read books like that and it’s not pretty.)

Girls are also WAY more mature than they were when I was a teenager.  It’s also very different now in terms of social media.  I think that the advancement of technology has completely changed the way that kids are growing up and is also forcing a lot to grow up quicker.

But no matter what, it’s a confusing age.

It’s also pretty amazing.


I think most of us remember it kind of like this….

Do you have any tips for writing in a teenage voice?

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