5 Ways To Bore A Teenaged Reader

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

  1. Not giving us any reason to empathise with characters. Okay, so this will vary from reader to reader. Some people will probably be okay with an extremely exciting and action-packed plot!! Like OMG exploding stuff!! Guns!! Spies!! But for me - and I think a lot of teen readers - believable characters who I can relate to are a must (obviously there are exceptions to this rule...).
  2. Nothing actually happens. Teenagers at the younger end of the spectrum aren't really going to be interested in a whole lot of intellectual rubbish. Adults will read that sort of stuff and talk about it with their friends at dinner parties and go, Oh! How smart I am to understand all that subtext and hidden meaning! But teenagers don't have time for your pseudo-intellectual time-wasting. I don't, I mean. And I speak for all teenagers! Every single one!
  3. It's all about a great big MORAL. You can have morals and meaning and a lesson behind your book. You really can. But a novel that is only a flimsy story constructed to back up a lesson that you want to teach the youth is usually very boring, and you won't end up getting your point across at all. You have to be subtle. Remember: story first. And characters. See point 1.
  4. Focusing on adult characters in a YA novel. I'm not saying teenagers are incapable of enjoying or understanding a novel with adult protagonists, but generally when a teenager picks up a YA novel they want a story they can relate to in some way. The experiences of adult characters are just so... grown-up. All responsibility and boring stuff. See point 1. Again. Even though you have already.
  5. Unoriginality. So, this isn't going to apply to all teenagers. Some teenagers I know want to read books that are as similar to Twilight as possible. But I like to think that the majority of teenaged readers enjoy original novels, stories they haven't heard before, things that surprise and entertain and [insert another synonym of surprise/entertain here, something like confound...]. The same old rehashed plot is boring
What bores you in a book, as a reader (regardless of whether you're a teenager)?
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