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  • Writer's picturejessicagustafson

My Daughter's Interview

Updated: Mar 9

We asked a group of junior high students what they want in a novel, and below are their responses. First, let me clarify that I do not write YA novels myself (my genre is historical Christian-fiction). I had the idea to write this blog when my daughter discussed this subject with her friends. My daughter loved my idea and helped me gather collective opinions from her peers. Keep in mind that just because this particular group of junior high students has these opinions does not mean everyone does. Some best-selling novels use “The Chosen One” trope, after all.


What in a novel would make you DNF? 

"The back of the book starts with 'In a magical world far away . . .' or something like that."

"When you expect something to happen, but it’s clear you have to read the next book to see it happen."

"Nothing happens in the first chapter."

"The character makes terrible choices, but everything still works out."

"The character doesn’t do anything, and their life is boring."

"It uses an obvious 'Chosen One' trope, such as if they are called 'The Chosen One' all the time, and they are going on a quest that they didn’t decide."

"If you know exactly what the villain is going to do, to the point that there is no mystery."

What makes you want to read a novel?

"The cover is interesting (always judge a book by its cover)."

"The blurb shows what the character is facing without spoiling too much."

"The title is mysterious."

"The character expresses their feelings well."

"The character always has a goal they are working towards, and they decide their goals themselves."

"The story has more than one twist."

"The writing is good."

Again, these are collective opinions of junior high students rather than my own. I hope you enjoyed reading them. 

Happy writing! 


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