Wednesday, 2 May 2012
Teen Cliches - Top Five That Are Actually True
So if you're writing a YA novel, and you have a whacking great big cliche, don't worry that much - so long as your mean girl has motives, desires, personality, weaknesses etc - aka she's a 3-D character - you'll be okay.
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CLICHE NO. 5 - TEEN PREGNANCY (EXPECTED OR NOT)
Some argue it's not a cliche, but rest assured, every teen TV show has done it, and quite a few books as well. Thing is, it happens. And not just to people who have a new boyfriend every night - to the braniacs who revise more than they eat.
CLICHE NO. 4 - THE NERD
On TV, they wear oversized glasses (geek without the chic), mismatched patterns, they have serious orthodontia issues, and are socially awkward to the extreme. In real life, it's not quite as extreme, but they definitely exist. Heck, I was one for years (without the braces). Which brings me to their archetype...
CLICHE NO. 3 - THE LOVE TRIANGLE (I forgot this, but thanks to Kyra for reminding me!)
One of the most disliked and often tedious aspects of YA fiction (particularly paranormal), the love tringle is a big fat cliche. BUT it does happen. What about the girl who's liked the same boy for ages, but he's going out with someone else, so she agrees to go to prom with the other boy she likes. But then the original boy dumps his girl and asks girl 1 out. Cliched, but I know people who this has happened to. And polyandry isn't legal in the UK just yet, so it's a teensy problem...
CLICHE NO. 2 - THE BITCHY POPULAR GIRL
You knew the mean girls picture had a reason. These girls do exist, 100 per cent. They've got a rich boyfriend at uni, flawless skin, and a following of girls who hate them but worship them. In my book THE BRIGHTEST FELL, I very much enjoyed writing my own mean girl (and boys), from their points of view. And it's a hard life, so don't wish you were them.
CLICHE NO. 1 - THE TEACHERS EVERYONE HATES/LOVES/SLEEPS WITH
I've cheated and put 3 in, but there is a big cliche that any teachers worth mentioning are hot/evil/awesome. That isn't totally true, but they're the ones all teens will remember/have strong feelings about, and every school has them. First, the evil cow who radiates hate for her students. The woman who took up teaching because she didn't have good enough people skills for anything else. Or the mysogynistic male teacher who's a total sleaze. Next, the teacher who lets the class chat, makes lessons fun, and always hands out chocolates at christmas. Rarer, admittedly, but these mythical creatures still exist. And then there's the teachers who are so hot that the school jocks and male model-alikes/hot mean girls hate them with a passion. The teacher that looks like Alex Pettyfer/Zac Efron/Megan Fox/Rihanna. Yes, you know the one.
So there're my cliches. Do you agree? and do you have any true cliches to add?
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