Krista Marino on Writing for Teen Boys...
Delacorte Press editor Krista Marino gave an interesting session on writing for the ever-reluctant young male reader. Krista acknowledged the fact that boys and girls not only have different biology, but also different socialization and ways of learning. So how does a writer capture an audience that doesn't want to sit still and read a novel?
In a nutshell, Krista advocates creating protagonists who boys can identify with, characters from varying ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds, and have these characters deal with common adolescent issues. If readers can identify with a character, it affirms their identity. Also, create an authentic teen experience by creating believable dialogue, even if it means hanging out at teen haunts and eavesdropping on them. Pace is also important. Books for this audience need to move fast--"quiet," too cerebral book are not likely to engage boys.
Here are some recommended books that Krista read from during the presentation:
- King Dork, by Frank Portman
- Ball Don't Lie, by Matt de la Pena
- I Am the Messenger, by Markus Zusak
- Looking for Alaska, by John Green
P.S. Krista Marino was named the SCBWI Member of the Year at the Golden Kite Luncheon later in the conference.