Teen Entertainment Tastes

The Mysterious Modern Teen
The Mysterious Modern Teen

So, recently I got to have dinner with some actual teens to learn more about their tastes in YA books & entertainment. Teen entertainment tastes will have significant bearing on the success of my writing. I only realized in the last few months that my books would be categorized as YA. Therefore, I need to know what teens are currently like.

What Do They Read
What Do They Read?

Teens Like Short-Form Content

Short Shorts
Short Shorts

Skits, sound-bites, the internet—far more than long form stories. They weren’t watching movies or T.V. programs with episodic plot. Rather, they were watching shows with shorter and more humorous segments.

Bursts of Color
Bursts of Color

There are definitely still plenty of teen readers, many of whom even read long books. However, to increase the appeal of my novel to teens it may be necessary to examine my chapter length and do a hook insertion edit. Short, sweet, hooky—I can do that… I think.

Bright and Grabbing
Bright and Grabbing

Teens don’t Like Unremittingly “Angry” Books

But an Angry Bird
Well, Maybe That’s Different…

I’d had my suspicions about this.

Grim Dark
Would You Like Some Grim Dark
With Your Grimdark?

Common wisdom would be that the new emerging Grimdark genre would be perfect for teens. But, if they really are reading for escape, then wallowing in Grimdark pessimism and bleakness may not be the best fit. The new Noblebright fantasy sub-genre might be good. Or it might be too cheerful.

How About Some Sparkles With That?

Honestly, perhaps the best option is a blend that’s been used less often of late—essentially cheery-grim. Works like The Adams Family, Black Butler, and Full Metal Alchemist all pulled off leavening a morbidly dark outlook with substantial injections of humor and interpersonal warmth. I’d had instincts that this might be the best path for my rather grim current book years ago. But I’d never gotten around to a humor and positivity insertion edit. Then, with the emergence and popularity of Grimdark I’d started second guessing my instincts to vary the emotional beats. But now my convictions are reaffirmed—I need to add light notes to my tone.

Cheery Grim
Cheery Grim—
Let’s Turn it Upside Down

Humor should also add to the hookiness and the perceived speed of the read, so it should help there, too.

Teens Prefer Writers to be Engaging in Person

Final takeaway—my defense mechanism for speaking in public under my writer persona is going all Hermione and enthusing about writing topics—perhaps to the point of exuding a lecture flavor. This is not a good match for teens. I need to work on my interpersonal skills. Specifically, I need to bootstrap my other takeaways into my in-person interactions with them. Short sound-bites, lots of humor, engaging, hooky, and leave the wall of text about all-things-writing for talking to other writer friends.

The Approachable Writer

Appealing to Teen Entertainment Tastes

I’m going to have to engage with more teens to keep dialing in what I’m writing to the readership I want to appeal to. Still, one evening gave me some very profound, possibly game-changing takeaways. Teen entertainment tastes may continue to morph over time, but I suspect the core principals will remain the same.

Dark, Angry, Lecturing, Wall of Text
A Dark, Angry, Lecturing, Wall of Text is what
Teens Don’t Want…

I appreciate the time of Jade & Diego, my teen sources. Plus, I want to thank their mother Jaime & aunt Lisa for arranging the get together for all of us so we could eat pizza and talk books.

Your Audiance - Teen Entertainment Tastes

Teen Entertainment Tastes
Article Name
Teen Entertainment Tastes
Recently I got to have dinner with some teens to learn more about their tastes in YA books & entertainment.
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True Universe
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