There are plenty of people who claim they have cracked the code to writing a novel that causes mass hysteria, and none of these people are best-selling authors (me neither). If you’re genuinely looking for help on how to write a best-seller, please go somewhere else—there will be fuckery about in this post.
When I say I’ve cracked the code to writing a best-seller, I mean a young adult novel. The kind of novel that will cause teenagers (and people who wish they were still teenagers) to lose their minds.
It seems like if your story doesn’t have paranormal creatures, creatures from a nether world or takes place sometime around the apocalypse, at least one or more of your characters should have some kind of psychological disorder.
I have joked around that I would make the male lead character someone with multiple personalities so that the female lead could fall in love with a different person every day.
There must be some kind of forbidden love (Romeo and Juliet, much?). Either their love will cause them a painful death, or one of them isn’t human or their parents have a problem with the relationship, or there’s some other obscure reason that their love is doomed.
The third wheel. Ah, yes, there is often some other guy who is in love with the leading lady. I think it works better if the audience really likes the other guy as well, not just the male lead. It’s strange how it’s always two guys who are fighting over one girl and not the other way around. I think it’s because it’s mostly teenage girls who read the books.
In all seriousness
I thought I’d kid around with the archetypes in many young adult novels, but honestly, there are archetypes in every genre. Honestly, I don’t even care if a book has one or all of the above mentioned. I’m just there for a strong storyline.
I’ve wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember and it’s part of the reason I have this blog. I think if the writers of Twilight, Fifty Shades of Grey, and season 8 of Game of Thrones (from what I heard) can believe in themselves, then I can believe in myself enough to just give this writing thing a go.
I’ve started sending out query letters. Wish me luck.
What are some archetypes in your favourite genre? Let me know in the comments.