How To Write A Hit Book For Teenage Girls

Posted: July 6, 2010 by kaostheory in Informative
Tags: , , ,

Let’s be honest with ourselves here. We all want to make money, preferably enough so that we can live comfortably in a McMansion with a pool and a moderately hot trophy wife for the rest of our lives. There are plenty of ways we can do that too. For example:

I could play sports, except I’m a short, unathletic and somewhat flabby white boys. Suitably well-endowed though, of course.

I could play the stock market shrewdly, except I’m not smart enough or business-savvy enough to do that. Besides, with the way this economy is now (hopefully not at the time you’re reading this), I would better suited to throwing my money in a pit, crapping on it and setting it on fire because at least that way I’m screwing myself.

I could rob a bank, except I just watched Heat last night and while that movie was phenomenal, it reminded me that I would have to set aside all emotional attachments that I wouldn’t be able to run away from in thirty seconds if the “heat” was on and frankly, I just can’t do that. I’m a lovers, not a fighter. Well, maybe a fighter too but taking a shotgun blast to the Don Johnson just isn’t the most palatable of options, which you surely can understand.

Hell, I could even become a hooker, except…come on. Like I’m going to get paid to play Naked Twister with anyone other than the Hutt clan.

No, all those get-rich-quick schemes will do nothing save provide a wacky montage for the funeral videos of my life after I suffer some sort of physical mishap while in the line of duty and suffer severe internal bleeding to the point where they have to dose me up with morphine until I can’t feel a thing as I drift into the nothingness.

(That went a little dark, KT. – ed.)

The point is really simple. If you want to make an obscene amount of money (literally obscene…I’m talking shaped like a porn star’s Statue of Liberty), the easiest way to do so is to tap into the most easily exploitable demographic aside from that of…well, I’ll just say those that are incredibly entertained by shiny objects: teenage girls.
Now, it’s been scientifically proven that teenage girls have the equivalent intelligence of a pile of lightly warmed tofu, the self-confidence of a molting owl with depression and the emotional stability of a three-level house balanced on top of a toothpick with a crack down the middle. Besides that, however, they have loads upon loads of disposable income from negligent and/or indulgent parents. That is money that rightfully can – and should – be yours! Here’s how to get it:

Write. A. Book. Not just any book, though. You can’t write a crime novel or a science fiction book. Teenage girls aren’t going to want to read stuff like that. God forbid you even try to write something a little more deep and meaningful. That’ll blow by them like…something fast. No, gentle readers. I’ll give you some hints as to how to write the perfect teenage girl book.
——
First and foremost, if you are in any way a self-respecting, thoughtful auteur dreaming of a world where you produce thoughtful, well-critiqued material, kill any notions of respectability you may be hoping for. Seriously. Just put them out of your head right away. You are not aspiring to be a Tom Wolfe or a Michael Chabon or a J.D Salinger or a Kurt Vonnegut or, fuck, even a Michael Crichton or, God forbid, a Dan Brown (yes, I like his books, yes, I am aware they aren’t wonderful). You are not trying to become a critical darling, a hero to the disenfranchised poor. You aren’t trying to prove a social point. You’re writing for teenage girls. Let’s be serious: fucking COMPREHENSIBILITY is optional.

Next up, you are going to want to outline a basic – very basic – plot. I know, I know. This sounds like a difficult thing and in most cases, you would be right about it. However, remember your audience. Twists and turns and intrigue are going to only confuse and scare them. Having any kind of plot detail that’s not expected will make them throw your book away in disgust which, if they’ve already paid for it, I guess you don’t need to give a shit about. Still, refrain from anything too challenging or, honestly, challenging in any way, shape or form. If you want to make the money, give them what they want. Which leads me to the next point…

You should make the main character basically an empty shell for the reader to inhabit. This part WILL be tricky, especially if the first point is tough for you. It takes a lot of effort to write a character with no inherent personality. Most writers want to create the very OPPOSITE. What you need to remember is that you are essentially writing a “choose-your-own-adventure” book except without the choosing. You are writing the equivalent of a rail shooter for video games. While you can’t REALLY give her no personality – and yes, it MUST be a her – you can basically create one that is around 70% of the population: shy, brooding, self-conscious, isolated-feeling, abstinent and scared of her budding sexuality, and unconscious of her beauty (okay that last one doesn’t really apply to like…any of that population but you have to play on that feeling). Speaking of which…

You absolutely attempt to tap into that insecurity of teenage sexuality. Middle and high schools are a raging mass of hormones and nerves. Let’s get that out of the way right away. That is a phenomenal source of plot points. All of them want to have sex with all the rest of them but the vast majority are too frightened to acknowledge that their ladyparts are all a-tingle over the quarterback or the lead actor or whatever. Actually, hold that thought.

Definitely try to create a love triangle with the main character as the lynchpin. Think about it. For this reader surrogate, what is going to be the most unconsciously fulfilling situation? Is it working hard for good grades? No. Is it maintaining a solid friendship with her female friends? No, although that is also a plus. Is it staying out of trouble? God no. Is it being the object of lust for two attractive, yet sensitive, yet sexually non-threatening, yet sexual, yet thoughtful, yet flawed, yet perfect boys? Now you’re thinking with your ovaries. You can write this whole situation however you like, but it works best if one is the best friend that she never saw in that sexy light before while the other is the bad boy new kid who excites her in new ways. If you really want to keep their Hello Kitties rainstorming, keep that sexual tension building throughout however many books you want to exploit them through, providing no relief. You bastard.

As with the current trends, why not try experimenting with supernatural forces? You know. Take some long-held monster and transform it in new and bullshit ways in order to romanticize it. Vampires have been taken. So have werewolves. Zombies are a little too out there. You could try mummies but they’re all decayed ‘n’ shit. Creature from the Black Lagoon? Potential. Maybe it’s not a hideously deformed fish-face creature bent on bringing a woman back to its lair for awful breeding purposes. Maybe instead it’s a hot guy that can breathe underwater and sits in his cave being all contemplative while playing his guitar. Oh God. What have I created?

Next, watch as this book, this abomination of a work, goes multimillion and becomes a successful movie franchise. This is kind of the natural next step. With all that stuff in there, there is no possible way that your book isn’t going to become almost uncomfortably popular among girls you can’t fuck anyway and older women who have lost the passion in their marriages or *shiver* their single lives. You will become a sex symbol yourself.

Finally, you only have one thing left to do. Drink yourself to death. What you have done to literature and to the film world is not on the level of Stalin or Hitler, but pretty much fucking Pol Pot all over. You have committed an unspeakable act. Your shame will live with you for the rest of your life. Or it should…

STEPHENIE MEYER.

Yes. You are Stephenie Meyer. You evil fuck.
——
(You seriously did this just to condemn one person? – ed.)

Yup.

(Eh. No problem here. You got something up. ‘Til next time, people. – ed.)

Comments
  1. Amina says:

    HaHa even before the ending, as you were describing that plot I immediately thought twighlight. This is brutal but -as a girl who’s successfully lived through her teenage years, I can confirm- accurate.

    • kaostheory says:

      We will admit that it wasn’t what could really be called a…let’s say “subtle” commentary, hm? Thanks for the comment!

    • Sandra says:

      Okay, well if it’s so easy to write a book and tap into the most easily exploitable demographic mind of a “teenage girl” how about YOU write a book. Because I can bet you about as much money as you say that’s all authors want that you couldn’t even take your own advice. People like you disgust me, I hope you know that. I was particulally offended by this article because I am a teenage girl who dreams of being an author and NOT for money! But to be heard and help other girls like me who are as confused as I am now in life. So next time… why don’t you take your own advice and write a book yourself. Because it is DEFENITLY easier said, then done -.-

      • kaostheory says:

        Ahem. I’ll go down the list.

        1. “how about YOU write a book” needs a question mark at the end. It’s not a straight sentence. It’s a question. I assume that’s what you were going for.
        2. Don’t start a sentence with “because”. It’s a bridging word like “but, than, if, etc.”, not an opener.
        3. Actually, let me re-write that sentence for you. It was very unclear. “I would bet you money – since that’s what you say all authors want – that you couldn’t even take your own advice in terms of writing a book.” That’s better.
        4. I actually did not know that people like myself disgust you but it’s very good to know that my snark and sarcasm disgusts you. I’ll try to avoid it in the future.
        5. “Particularly”, not “particulally”. You might want to get your spelling correct if you want to be a writer.
        6. You also should work on your sentence structure if that’s your intent. As you spoke about being offended, you somehow managed to both create a run-on sentence and break the flow. Let me explain since you sorely need it. You were mostly alright through your fourth sentence (misspelling notwithstanding) but you, as far as I can tell, were intending to explain how you dream about being an author not for money but to be heard and to help other girls who are confused like you in your life. However, you broke the sentence by putting an exclamation point after money (ostensibly for effect) and beginning the next sentence with “But”, a critical mistake. It should have read “dreams of being an author and NOT for money but to be heard and help…”. That would make it more clear and leave more of an impact (assuming I cared).
        7. You tend to have the habit of beginning sentences with connection words (because, but, so). That is something else you should fix if you want to be a writer.
        8. Don’t use ellipses if you can help it. They are intended to convey the meaning that you have left something unsaid, which I don’t believe you have.
        9. Again, you make the mistake of closing a question with a period. The “why don’t you” early in the sentence means that the entire phrase is a question, not a statement.
        10. “Because” yet again. That’s really something to fix.
        11. “Definitely”, not “defenitly”. If you’re going to use words with such a strong connotation as “definitely”, you may want to spell it correctly.
        12. “Than done”, not “then done”. “Then done” is saying that it (writing) is easier when said and completed afterwards. Naturally, that is true.
        13. -.- is text speak and an abomination. That may be something to cut out of your writing now to avoid making mistakes later.

        As you can see, you have a long ways to go before criticizing a fellow writer. For example, you might try understanding what satire is, what comedy is, and what is clearly intended to be a take-down of a particular series of poorly-written, ham-fisted, over-indulgent garbage bag fodder pamphlets. You know, only if you want to, of course. Otherwise, good luck with writing and living through your teenage years!

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