WS 33: Elana Johnson 3 YA/teen voice and character developement

Jocelyn hosts this open discussion that Elana Johnson added her opinions too (very brilliantly, may I add) Enjoy and learn, and don’t forget to Save the Cat.

(about 26min)

Download (right click and go to “save link as” to download)

And we want to highlight her Annual ONLINE Writing Conference Which will feature many Authors vlogs and blog posts. Starting August 16-18th at 6AM EST – 10 PM EST every night. This is not to be missed!

And of course we have a prize for one lucky listener. A signed copy- Hardback- of Possession, Elana’s debut novel. To be entered, leave a comment below. For extra entries blog, twitter, or facebook about and then leave a comment for each one. Thanks for your support!

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Information for the beginning or aspiring writer about all things writing in the fiction world. Novels, publishing, etc. We feature author and other professional interviews. View all posts by Writing Snippets

6 responses to “WS 33: Elana Johnson 3 YA/teen voice and character developement

  • Cara

    Character development has been one of the hard things for me and something I’ve been working on in my revisions. You guys brought up a good point about having to know the character to write it well, so I think I’m really going to work on that for a little while.
    Thanks for another great interview.

  • Alice

    Same here Cara. I recently used some character and plot worksheets I found online to help me develop character and it’s made a huge difference in my story. We may be talking about some of these in later podcasts, but check out: Verla Kay’s website for her detailed character worksheet, google the Snowflake Method, Hollie Lyle’s notecarding under pressure, and Writer’s Digest blank novel outline. just to name a few I’ve tried that I like. Best of luck!

  • John D. Payne

    I think writing an authentic teen voice is like writing an authentic female voice, or an authentic hispanic voice, or an authentic military voice. I only worry about it when that voice is not my voice. I’m not a teen, or a woman, or hispanic, or a soldier, so I have to think about how a person like that would think and act and talk.

    But trying hard to make the voice sound authentic can lead quickly to cliches and stereotypes. (“Teens sulk. I’ll make this teen character sulky.”) And then people also say that’s inauthentic. (“Not another sulky teenage character! Ugh!”)

    For me, it’s like when I can’t suspend disbelief while watching a movie, and wind up complaining about the logical flaws in the plot or the physics or whatever. Those complaints are not the problem, they’re just signs that the story isn’t holding my attention so I am picking it apart. Same thing if people say that my character doesn’t have an authentic voice. It means that my character is boring. If the character is interesting then they won’t get distracted by the things I get wrong.

  • Alex

    I’ve tried snowflake for plotting. Not a planner! I’ll have to try just for characters. Maybe I could flesh them out without looking at the whole thing as a homework assignment for English class 🙂

    Go Pansters!

      • Writing Snippets

        The snowflake method is one of the more complicated ones. There are much easier, looser plot formats. Everyone has to find out what works best for them. I’ve found a combination of loose plotting and outlining combined with just going ahead and starting to write before I have it all figured out works for me, but just sitting down and writing with only a vague idea left me with lots of holes and work to do in my revisions.

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