Minding the Young Adult Reader’s Beeswax for Writers #YAReaderMindset

young adult reader mindset kidlitIf you’ve chosen to write for the young adult (YA) audience, then it’s a good idea to study up on their mindset. This audience, mostly female teenagers feel, well they feel everything deeply.

Everything, every decision, every consequence, every humiliation, etc. seems magnified a thousand fold – like life or death circumstances.

Here’s Michael J. Fox portraying a teenager in the first Back to the Future movie where he tells Doc, “Whoa. This is heavy.”

Whoa. This is heavy.

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Writing a book that gives this mostly female audience that feeling that the amazing book they’re reading was somehow caused to serendipitously fall into their hands as well as their hearts might be a way towards finding a faithful reader following. Putting it simply…When reading, they want to feel that “this author gets me” feeling. No pressure.

Many young adult readers can still be struggling or dealing with some of the same issues as the Middle Grade (MG) reader audience that you can read here.

Here are some themes, ideas, or character feelings you may utilize that relate to the young adult mindset:

  • Romance, secret crushes, unrequited love, love triangles.
  • Isolation, loneliness, not fitting in, having many friends but still feeling alone.
  • Empowerment, think dystopian and paranormal.
  • Death, suicide, cutting, eating disorders. By this age teenagers have been exposed to serious issues first hand or through a friend in their circle. A well told story is a safe and enjoyable way to look at these issues and may be a vessel for prompting a person to seek professional help because she doesn’t feel so alone.

As always, glean what works for you as far as writing advice goes. Write what you want in the way that you want.

If you can offer any helpful ideas on the Young Adult (YA) reader mindset that would help our fellow writers, please leave a comment.


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