Saturday, April 26, 2014

W: Why?

I often get asked why I write for teens or why I wrote my debut novel from a male, first person point- of-view. You know I have two teen boys and with all the years spent in the classroom teaching boys, it seems they have become the main target audience for my writing. I love watching the teen protagonist discover the problems that are threatening his very life or world. I equip him with the right tools and watch him resolve the conflict and do battle with the antagonist--all on his own. Well, he might have a few friends or mentors along the way to help him. So, if you want to see your character change (because that's our goal as writers) make the MC a teen, throw him in a shark tank and teach him to swim (and to kill a shark!).

Boys, for the most part, are straightforward, uncomplicated and adventurous risk takers. (Not that girls can't be like this;) Here is one thing I've notice about my boys over the years. When I ask them how their day went at school, I get answers like fine, good, awesome, fine. Never do I get a two hour-long drama infested rehashing of the day's events. Other things I notice about my boys:

Boys don't hold grudges.
Boys can be extremely loyal.
Boys have best friends and keep their friends for a long time.
Boys don't gossip. Instead, they just tell it like it is.
Boys punch, hit and tackle each other, not because they are upset, but because they are boys.
Boys rarely get embarrassed.
Boys don't smell. (Bear with me. My boys own every variety of Axe spray and Old Spice available!)
Boys don't usually discover girls until way later than girls discover boys. (This is why I personally enjoy reading--and writing--novels with a male protagonist.)
Boys don't require driving lessons. They ride enough four wheelers, go-carts & mopeds that when they get behind the wheel, they just drive. (OK, maybe a Driver's Ed isn't a bad idea;-)
Aston Martin-Vantage 

I eavesdrop. (Remember, I'm good at that:) A few years ago when I picked up my oldest son from school, he passed a group of girls. They squealed, "Hi, Austin!" My clueless son said, "Uh, hey." Then he turned to his best bud and asked two questions, "Dude, did you get the new Call of Duty game?" and "Man, did you see that killer catch I made in the football game last night." Oblivious.

What is your main target audience? Which point of view do you most often write from? Why do you write for adults, teens, tweens, children? 

(Photo: courtesy free images) And you will find the Aston Martin in the pages of my novel Free Runner. I needed a cool, expensive car to feature. My oldest suggested I check out this sweet ride.

#atozchallenge #amwriting #teenfiction 


  1. Great post today :) Have a great weekend!

  2. They are wearing Axe with no clue that it attracts women? That's amusing.
    Even once we notice girls, it still takes us a while to figure out what to do about it.

    1. Hahaha! So funny and so true:) My oldest has a "friend that's a girl" as opposed to a "girl friend."

    2. They might as well be boyfriend and girlfriend:)

  3. Haha! Alex's comment cracked me up! I write girl mc's always. If I write a guy, I make him the fantasy girls wish really existed (emotional, considerate, romantic, mature, know, all the things boys would never be). Since I write YA (and now NA), you'd think my target audience would be teens. However, it's actually young to middle-aged women who like to read YA. Teens drive me crazy, so I recently started an NA WIP. But I found my 24-yr-old mc to be well-balanced, smart, pragmatic -- and dull. I had to make her younger sister (18) a POV character because she's impulsive, deluded, shallow, over-emotional -- and dang fun to write! Haha!

    1. I have noticed several adults reading my book as well! I do love upper MG and YA more than adult fiction. Those kinds of characters are a blast to write!

  4. Hi Jennifer, I have written a book from a girl's point of view (third person perspective) and another from a boy's point of view (first person perspective). I have enjoyed both. Yes, boys are uncomplicated creatures.
    If your boys are wearing Axe, then they must be attracting girls like mad ;)

  5. I love it! Having grown up surrounded by boys, I was totally at home hanging out with guys and knew how to talk to them. All my girlfriends thought I must be way forward or have a magic spell or something, but I was totally cool with just being upfront and nonchalant with the guys.

    And of course, I never grew out of being a 16 or 17 year old Crystal, so that's my audience--teenage girls. (And their mothers.) I love the voice, the fresh perspective and energy, the hope for things to come and bitter disappointment of first loves.

    True Heroes from A to Z

  6. I love this. I write mostly YA (with one adult MS as well) but all from a female POV. I'm not sure if I could do a male POV justice. Sounds like you've got the inside track!

  7. I remember sitting in a workshop at an SCBWI event a couple of years ago with an agent speaking. She was saying she didn't understand why there weren't more YA and MG books from the male POV. I looked around the room. There were ZERO men in the room and I thought, "Perhaps because children's writers are mostly female?" There are some men...but it's such a small #. I think there is a demand for well-written books from a male POV both in middle grade and YA fiction.

  8. Target audience? Fantasy fans. I write from a first person female POV, although one of these days one of my MCs is going to be male. I just hope I can pull it off.

    Liz A. from Laws of Gravity

  9. This is so interesting. I really enjoyed reading it :)

  10. Reading this makes me want to write a boy book.


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