How to Write the Great American Teenager Novel
All of the teenagers must make bad decisions: they must drink alcohol, stay out past curfew, and lie to their parents.
They must get grounded once a month but never learn from their mistakes.
There must be a quiet girl who is in love with a dangerous and sad boy, and her parents must command them to not see each other. Of course they still date, but secretly.
The boy is from a dark past. His father left the family when he and his younger brother were little, and his mom is an alcoholic. He must take care of his younger brother, who is also a troublemaker. The girl must be rich and the boy must be poor.
The boy must have black hair and eyes that show his troubled past. He must seem harsh on the outside but sensitive and caring on the inside. He must have black blood running through his veins, slightly hidden by his pale skin. His peers should think of him as lonely, pathetic, mysterious.
Or, there could be a lonely boy who falls in love with the popular girl. She is embarrassed by him and they have to date in secret. The boy's parents think that she is a bad influence on him. Eventually she must cheat on him because she likes him too much and doesn't want things to get serious.
All of the poor girls must wear provocative clothes: short shorts, tight shirts, and high heels. The rich girls must wear conservative, designer clothes.
There must be a queen bee-that is essential. She has to have a secret, and is knocked off of her pedestal by the end of the novel, preferably by the main character. The main character must have money problems, but lied to her friends about it because she is embarrassed. She buys fake Louis Vuitton bags so that she can stay popular.
Once the queen bee finds out that the main character is poor, she must hold it against her throughout the whole novel.
The novel has to be set in a town with two parts- the rich side and the poor side. The boys must all play football. The girls don't play any sports, because girls aren't athletic.
The rich boys and the poor boys do not work well together. The coach is from the rich side of town. The rich boys make up the starting lineup. The best players are the poor boys.
There must be a death of a teenager. He must have been from the rich side of town and died from drunk driving on the way home from a party after the first home football game. The driver doesn't die- but the boy in the passenger seat does. The driver is consumed with guilt and must become an alcoholic. He can't buy his way out of guilt, and the driver can't buy his life back.
On the poor side of town, all of the parents must be college dropouts. There are family dinners every night, and on Fridays the whole side of town goes to support the football team. The parents want their kids to do better than they did. In the wealthy side of town, the parents go to dinner parties while the teenagers order takeout for themselves.
The rich teenagers spend their time golfing at the country club. They don't try in school, and they don't have to. Their parents donate enough money to Harvard so they are automatically accepted.
In all of this, the main character must realize that being rich isn't all that it seems.
In the Great American Teenager Novel,
all of the poor people are rich and all of the rich people are poor.