Have you ever dreamed of writing a novel that everyone has read or seeing your name appear on the New York Times Bestseller list? In 2013, thirty-seven authors of Young Adult fiction made that dream a reality.
How did they do it? Well, they wrote amazing stories.
But I was curious if there were any strong trends in how these books were written. The four most popular elements were: a contemporary realistic setting, a female protagonist, past tense, and first person POV.
This describes A Fault in our Stars by John Green which made an appearance on the list every week in 2013, but it doesn’t describe any of the other three that achieved that impressive goal.
Most of the teens I work with love reading fantasy, dystopian, and sci-fi, so I was somewhat surprised that contemporary realistic fiction appeared on the list as often as it did. But, if you combine the fantasy/dystopian/sci-fi genres, they make up 54% of the books on the list which makes sense.
So…what does this information mean for writers? It means that readers like all kinds of novels, so as a writer, you shouldn’t follow trends. Instead, write a great novel with solid characters in an interesting setting, and someday you too might make the NYT list.