Every YA novel goes like this:
There’s a big choosing ceremony or event coming up.
It might be a wedding even.
Whatever it is, the main character has no freedom to choose her own destiny.
She might rebel or run away.
Or something else unexpected happens.
Whether or not the ceremony goes through, after the ceremony life is completely different.
She’s left he family and is learning new skills and facing new challenges.
She’s special: if not a princess already, she finds out that her mother or father (who she’s been lied to about) was actually important and powerful. Now she feels like she has to make them proud and live up to their memory.
She discovers that she has powers – powers she shouldn’t even have.
Nobody understands her. People are afraid of her.
In the meantime there are two boys in her orbit.
One is a jerk, the other is kind.
One is dark haired, one is light haired.
They usually have breathtaking blue or green eyes.
One is poor, one is rich.
One turns out to be a prince, the other turns out to be an assassin (aka, a bad guy – in opposition to her own goals and wants).
OR they could be brothers.
Or best friends.
Her feelings for each change as she deals with new revelations.
Ultimately, she learns to control her powers, and begins fighting back.
But all her plans fail, she’s captured and discovered, and held captive at the mercy of the villain.
She escapes certain death, defeats her enemies (for now – but not for good) and finds a safe place to regroup.
How close is your book to this plot?
Every bestselling YA book I’ve read in the past 5 years has been at least a 75% match. If you’re writing something completely new and different, with none of these elements, it probably won’t be a smash hit.
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