Ah, to be a rebel. Rebelliousness can be quite an asset, so long as the “volume” is tweaked just right. This pertains to all sorts of people about all sorts of issues, but I’d like to correlate rebelliousness between Tweens and Writers specifically. Smaller children often buck the system, but Tweens are the real deal when it comes to clashing with what is proper or appropriate or, OMG, “totes” (totally) lame. Older teens are prone to twisting the volume of clashing even higher, which is why I think Tweens might have hit the perfect rebel target. Just enough rebellion and new ideas sprout; adults are reminded of their own inner zest; wearing mismatched socks, sliding down the banister or blaring the newest single might make us “old-ish” people raise eyebrows, but these behaviors are usually innocent expressions that give voice and movement to a soaring mind.
Writers can learn a few things from Tweens. A touch of rebelliousness gives us the freedom to explore storylines that veer away from or give twists to worn out trends. Unique is always “in” within a certain volume range. Tweak your expression too high, and you risk losing readers unable to connect in a solid way to your storyline. Even balloons need tethers, or else they end up withering somewhere in the clouds. Keep your volume flat or too low, and you risk another version of the same-old-same-old that in a word: Bores. Take it from Tweens, freshen and stretch trends in new ways, add crunch to that old burrito with some zesty potato chips or fried mozzarella, work with themes readers can connect to, but add flavors and textures not yet tried. Do that and you are sure to be “tope” (tight & dope–which I’m told is a really good thing).
Christina Mercer, author of Tween/Teen Celtic Fantasy ARROW OF THE MIST and its sequel ARMS OF ANU, due out in March 2014, writes for children and young adults. She was a semi-finalist in the Amazon Breakout Novel Award Contest, took Writer’s Best in Show at her SCBWI Regional Conference, and was awarded an Honorable Mention in the 21st Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. For more about her and her writing, visit: