Margie Lawson

Make your writing soar


“No One Gets Me!”: Writing Believable YA Characters

What makes a novel young adult? Is it just the age of the protagonist?

It’s so much more!

This course will demystify the teen world and help you write believable characters—one your young readers can relate to and root for. Learn the keys to crafting a novel solidly in YA, which goes far beyond the age of your main character.

In this four-week course, we’ll explore:

  • YA Themes. What major issues do teens deal with, and how do they affect your story, regardless of subgenre? What social-emotional challenges must they resolve?
  • YA Worldview. How do teens see the world and their role in it? What makes their perspective distinctive, and how do you write that?
  • YA Voice. How do teens express themselves? How can you add punch to your narrative, internal dialogue, body language, and external dialogue to master teen speak?
  • Writing YA Fresh. How do you avoid making your characters into stereotypes? What makes your teens simultaneously unique and relatable?

We’ll look at examples from fabulous teen fiction that nail these concepts, helping you see what it looks like on the page. Samples will come from several subgenres, and principles can be applied to whatever kind of YA you write. Assignments will provide an opportunity to practice and receive feedback on your manuscript.

Lesson Plan

Week 1

  • Welcome
  • Recognizing YA Themes

Week 2

  • Incorporating YA Themes
  • Nailing Tween-Teen Point of View

Week 3

  • Establishing YA Voice
  • Sounding Like a Tween-Teen

Week 4

  • Writing Fresh Characters
  • Wrap-up


Julie Glover Headshot

Julie Glover is an award-winning author of young adult and mystery fiction. Her debut Sharing Hunter placed in several contests, including the much-touted RWA® Golden Heart® YA. Her follow-up, Daring Charlotte, also a repeat contest finalist, releases later this year. She has also co-authored four supernatural suspense novels and a short story in the Muse Island series under her pen name Jules Lynn. She is represented by Louise Fury of The Bent Agency.

Julie holds a master’s degree in counseling, has taught conference workshops and online courses, and served as a host of the Writers in the Storm blog, a top 100 website for writers, for three years. In addition, she has served as sidekick and substitute host for Cruising Writers, an incomparable at-sea writers’ experience, since 2015.

She lives in Texas with her hottie husband, her loquacious cat, and her large collection of cowgirl boots.




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© 2024 Margie Lawson, all rights reserved.

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