My defense, naturally, was that I wanted my teen to sound older, mature, intelligent, and NOT like a hippety hoppety, overly "Oh. My. Gawd. Like, did you just see that guy? Like, he was sooooooo hot." You know?
HOWEVER, I have since seen the light and have come off my horse and am beginning to see the glimmer of overwriting and sounding
Here is a resource erica gave me waaaaay back in July/August when we first became friends.
Read up on teen voice on Randy Russel's Blog from April and another from May. (erica still has privileges and recommends you follow and read Randy's blog. he's an elevensie and an all-around great guy. and she *claims* she knows some of his guest bloggers and that they're wonderful writers who are now being published)
So, I've been practicing putting on my "teen eyes" so I can look through them instead of my 30-uh, and then some-eyes. IF you are writing in first person, as many YA authors do, then DON'T tell (or even show) things that your character wouldn't actually notice or see for themselves. YOU have to walk around your story in his/her body and his/her mind, not yours. Think like your characters. Use their words. Their emotions. READ UP. There are so many YA novels out there that do this, ahem, well.
And here's someone else who has helped me get into character (I KNOW I'm not an actor, but sometimes I feel like it. You know, when I'm living in my mind for a bit. I mean my MC's mind, of course!)
While you listen, read on, please. I guess I had lots to tell you all today!
WHILE ON THE TOPIC OF YA...It's TEEN READS WEEK sponsored by the American Library Association. Encourage teens to read books about music and poetry. Help them find books that show they can read for pleasure just like they can watch TV, listen to music, etc. for fun. Introduce them to audiobooks.
My first thought of a YA title that does this was Shiver and it's sequel Linger. While not specifically about poetry or music, Sam, one of the trilogy's main characters (a third book comes out this upcoming summer!), reads and quotes poetry and comes up with song lyrics througout so he can sing them and strum his guitar. He's passionate about reading and music. So...I thought that fit the theme perfectly. AND teens and adults alike LOVE these books. Everyone should read Maggie Stiefvater. INCLUDING YOU!