Writing Dialogue for Kids

For some reason I am obsessed with writing a novel that takes place in high school.  I love reading and watching things that exist in that place and time.  I think it stems from the fact that it is inherently such a dramatic age.  It is easier to accept extreme emotions and irrational actions from someone that is 16 rather than someone that is 36.  And since my story is about that age group, I guessing that is also going to be for that age group as well, but now that I have been out of high school long enough to have a wife and kids and a career I no longer feel qualified to provide a voice for teenagers.  I’d love to go all 21 Jump Street and get my street cred back, but that’s a whole other (bad) story.

I love dialogue, though I don’t think I’m particularly good at it.  I just feel that if people are talking, I want to hear them talk.  I don’t want to hear someone describing them talking.

How are authors connecting with the younger generations?  J.K. Rowling had it easy since the fantastic setting of the Harry Potter books takes the dialogue out of the realm of modern comparison.  I refuse to read Twilight but I think the modern day take removes the fantasy loophole.  I guess I should get a handle on what other young adult novels are popular these days.  Or do I just reread my Gordan Korman collection?

Or on the flip side, does it really matter?  As long as I’m consistent and true to the characters it should come across as an honest portrayal, even if a particular reader doesn’t connect to it personally.  And I guess everyone is going to come to it with their own experiences, so reflecting reality universally is pretty much impossible.

But flipping back to the first side, I still worry that someone reads it and thinks “Ug, I think this was written by my dad!”

I had better write this thing quick before I get any older.


About OneGoodMinute
Blogging about the fun and interesting things in life. Nerd stuff - movies, music, comedy, podcasts Social Media - Documenting my way through social media, blogging and online promotion. Learn from my experiences, mistakes and successes.

One Response to Writing Dialogue for Kids

  1. TheTim says:

    I dunno – now that you’re older, you have some perspective on the situations that occurred during high school, so that should help write into the characters and situations.

    Unrequited loves, hatred between people which is actually jealousy, feelings of alienation, etc.

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