YA Wednesday: YA Authors: Please Stop Doing These Things, Why We Need More Positive Girls Portrayal in Books, Unrealistic Happenings In YA Books


I’m struggling with my novel in progress. The plot has literally become a shapeshifter, morphing from one genre to another on a daily basis. I just realized my antagonist and protagonist are named Ryan and Brian and half the other names also rhyme.

I’m making enough mistakes already. The last thing I need is advice about what teens want and don’t want to see in YA. Or maybe that’s just what I do need. Not sure, but I’m going to try to listen.


  • The teen who wrote Dear YA Authors: Please Stop Doing These Things has some tips for things YA authors need to stop doing including “ridiculous text speak” (relieved) and boring teen readers with that old music you love like The Smiths (really?). My inner teen rebel (yeah she never died) is screaming if you just write to please your audience that in itself is boring but there is good advice here.
  • Why We Need More Positive Girls Portrayal in Books asks authors to step away from some of the girl tropes common in YA (mean girls, bad girls, the girl who’s not like anyone else, the quiet nerd, the bubbly friend) and to create positive three-dimensional female characters that reflect what girls are really like. Hard to argue with that.
  • Unrealistic Happenings In YA Books That Make Me Fly Away Upon A Pigeon And Ne’er Return talks about the need for writers to provide enough realistic details to make the reader believe in the world, even if it’s a fantasy world. They can start by giving a few of their characters a ‘bad hair day.’

That’s about as much good advice as I can take for now. I’m off to remove some Oldies but Goodies from my book and to mess up some hair.


Showing 4 comments
  • Evelyn Krieger

    Emily, it’s easy to second-guess yourself in the early stages of writing a novel and try to reshape your vision based on outside opinion. I, too, noted these posts with interest. I wonder if it is better (or even possible) to address these tips in the second draft.

  • Emily

    Evelyn, I agree that it is better to consider these things during a second draft. With first drafts you just need to get it out and all the advice can become inhibiting.

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    • Emily Ross

      Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it!

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