How to write a YA novel (the beginning)
I’ve written several posts about how to write YA, but let’s just talk about the intro. In the majority of YA books (maybe half), the protagonist has to move and start a new school.
The first day goes like this:
- New friend explains the rules
- Hot guy who she’s warned to stay away from
- Embarrassing moment
- Probably a bully who makes fun of her
- Something mysterious or unexplained happens
She probably feels overwhelmed or all alone, someone shows her kindness, later she infiltrates the “cool crowd” – those standoffish, secretive kids who all look like supermodels.
She learns she has secret powers, that her parents were probably ass-kicking members of a secret, supernatural group, and that she is the key to everything – if she can learn to control her powers.
There’s another guy, who’s probably blonde, who is nice and funny but she’s just not into him. She obsesses about the other guy, the hot guy with shaggy dark hair, who is always brooding or looking at her like a puzzle he needs to solve. She finally hooks up with him (even if he starts with a girlfriend) after they have a few arguments.
There’s a bad guy, who wants something she has (or something she can find; or something her parents stole… or he just wants her for her abilities) and he’s probably trying to take over the world.
He offers her the one thing she wants more than anything, but she would have to betray her new friends so she turns him down.
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