One of the best things about the internet is that it gives us a chance to connect with a wide variety of people. Some of these people are even our target readers. You can check out what teens post in chats or the videos that they post on Youtube. Some of my favorites are the Ted videos by teens. These are teens who were passionate enough about something that they managed to make adults sit up and take notice which is no small feat.
Maybe you’re writing a book about a young musician who makes it big. How does a teen break into the music world? Check out Tallia Storm’s Discovering the Storm. She was a 13 year-old musician when she opened for Elton John. This is the story of how she managed to pull that off.
Or you could be writing a book about a young scientist. How do you work when you don’t have access to a lab? How do you acquire the things you need? Angela Zhang, the 17-year-old creator of a nanoparticle, talks about Breaking Down the Unknown while Miranda Wang and Jeanny Yao discuss how the mistakes they made, in discovering a bacteria that can break down plastic, led to future discoveries.
You can access other TedXTeen talks here. Musicians, scientists, writers and more have recorded TED talks. Teens who are into computers, who have survived war and who are great problem solvers have also made their voices heard. You don’t have to chase down your own reluctant teen ager to find out what his or her contemporaries think. Instead, check out these videos and let them both inform and inspire your writing. You may find a story taking off in a whole new direction with a voice of its own.