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YA (Young Adult)

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What is YA in Screenwriting?

YA (Young Adult) is a genre of screenwriting that focuses on stories about the lives and struggles of teenagers, usually between the ages of 12-18. These stories often explore themes such as identity, coming of age, independence, and family.

YA screenplays often have protagonists who are young adults trying to navigate their way through adulthood while also dealing with everyday issues like relationships, school, and peer pressures.

Key Differences Between YA Fiction and Adult Fiction in Screenwriting

YA fiction in screenwriting differs from adult fiction in several ways, including the age of the main characters, the voice and perspective used, and the themes and issues addressed.

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Age of the main characters

Main characters in YA screenplays are often teens. They are between 12 to 18 years old. This is the time they face many firsts in life. These could be a first crush, or learning to drive a car.

It’s also a time when they work out who they really are. The age of these characters lets the writer explore themes like self-discovery and coming-of-age.

Voice and perspective

YA screenwriting focuses on capturing the authentic voice and perspective of young adults. This means understanding how teenagers think, speak, and view the world around them. It’s important to avoid overly adult or unrealistic dialogue that doesn’t resonate with young audiences.

YA stories give readers a chance to see themselves reflected in relatable characters who face similar challenges and experiences. By writing from a teenage perspective, screenwriters can create stories that connect with young adult viewers on a deeper level and make them feel understood and heard.

Themes and issues addressed

YA screenwriting explores a variety of themes and issues that resonate with young adult audiences. These stories often delve into topics such as identity, self-discovery, and the challenges of growing up.

They tackle coming-of-age experiences like navigating relationships, making difficult choices, and finding one’s place in the world. YA screenplays also address social issues such as bullying, mental health, diversity, and inclusion.

By exploring these themes, YA storytelling provides a platform for young adults to connect with characters who face similar challenges or experiences while offering valuable insights and perspectives on important real-world issues.

Understanding the Target Audience for YA Screenplays

The target audience for YA screenplays is primarily young adults, typically ranging from ages 12 to 18. These viewers are in a transitional phase of their lives, facing challenges and exploring their identities.

Understanding their characteristics and interests is crucial when crafting compelling stories that resonate with them.

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Age range and characteristics of young adult viewers

Young adult viewers are typically between the ages of 12 to 18 years old. They are at a stage in their lives where they are navigating through adolescence and facing various challenges and experiences.

Young adult viewers often relate to stories that explore issues such as identity, self-discovery, relationships, and personal growth. They enjoy reading about characters who go through similar situations that they can connect with on an emotional level.

Young adult viewers appreciate stories that capture their emotions, interests, and concerns while offering entertaining storytelling that resonates with them.

Tips for Writing YA Screenplays

Avoid stereotypes and clichés, capture the emotions and experiences of young adults, and balance entertainment value with meaningful storytelling.

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Avoiding stereotypes and clichés

In YA screenwriting, it’s important to avoid using stereotypes and clichés. This means not relying on tired and overused character types or storylines. Instead, strive to create authentic and multidimensional characters that defy expectations.

For example, instead of portraying the female lead as a damsel in distress waiting for a hero to save her, give her agency, and make her an active participant in her own journey. Similarly, steer clear of tired tropes like the “mean girl” or the “rebellious bad boy.” Instead, dig deeper into their motivations and complexities to create more nuanced characters that resonate with young adult audiences.

By avoiding stereotypes and clichés, you can bring fresh perspectives to your storytelling while also respecting the experiences of young adults.

Capturing the emotions and experiences of young adults

YA screenwriting is all about capturing the emotions and experiences of young adults. It’s important to understand what teenagers go through during their formative years, such as navigating friendships, facing challenges at school or homediscovering their identity, and experiencing first love.

By delving into these universal themes, YA screenplays can resonate with young adult viewers on a deeper level. To accomplish this, writers should create authentic characters that reflect the diverse perspectives and experiences of young people.

They should also use relatable dialogue and storytelling techniques that effectively convey the rollercoaster of emotions experienced by teenagers. Ultimately, capturing the emotions and experiences of young adults is key to creating compelling YA screenplays that engage and connect with its target audience.

Balancing entertainment value with meaningful storytelling

YA screenwriting requires a delicate balance between entertaining the audience and delivering meaningful storytelling. While it is important to engage young adult viewers with exciting plots, relatable characters, and captivating visuals, it is equally crucial to address deeper themes and issues that resonate with them.

By combining elements of entertainment and thought-provoking narratives, YA screenwriters can create stories that not only entertain but also leave a lasting impact on their target audience.

This balance ensures that young adult viewers are entertained while also allowing them to connect with the character’s experiences and emotions on a meaningful level.

Examples of Successful YA Screenplays and Their Impact

Successful YA screenplays have not only achieved box office success and critical acclaim but have also had a significant influence on popular culture and youth trends.

Box office success and critical acclaim

Many YA screenplays have achieved both box office success and critical acclaim. These films have resonated with young audiences, leading to high ticket sales and positive reviews. Examples include “The Hunger Games” series, which grossed over $3 billion worldwide and received praise for its strong female protagonist and themes of empowerment.

Another successful YA film is “The Fault in Our Stars”, based on the novel by John Green, which earned over $300 million globally and touched hearts with its emotional story about love and loss.

These movies demonstrate the commercial viability and artistic merit of YA storytelling in the film industry.

Influence on popular culture and youth trends

YA screenplays have had a significant impact on popular culture and youth trends. Successful YA films, such as “The Hunger Games” and “Twilight,” have not only become box office hits but have also influenced fashion trends, music choices, and even the way young people interact with each other.

These films often feature relatable characters going through similar challenges as their viewers, which resonates deeply with teenage audiences. The themes explored in YA stories can also spark important conversations about identity, friendship, love, and societal issues among young viewers.

By capturing the emotions and experiences of young adults authentically on screen, these films have become cultural touchstones for many teenagers today.

YA (Young Adult) in screenwriting refers to stories and scripts that are specifically created for young adult audiences. These are typically targeted towards readers and viewers between the ages of 12 to 18 years old.

Young adult fiction explores the teenage years, focusing on the experiences and challenges faced by young protagonists as they navigate through adolescence. YA stories can cover a wide range of genres, including fantasy, romance, dystopian, and contemporary.

They often address themes such as identity, self-discovery, coming-of-age, and first love. In recent years, YA books and films have gained significant popularity with successful adaptations hitting the big screen.

Writing YA screenplays requires understanding the unique perspectives of young adults. It’s important to avoid stereotypes or clichés when developing characters and storylines. Instead, strive to capture the emotions and experiences that resonate with young adults while balancing entertainment value with meaningful storytelling.

By doing so, writers can create engaging narratives that not only entertain but also provide a platform for exploring diverse perspectives and experiences that allow readers or viewers connect with characters facing similar challenges or experiences.

Overall, YA in screenwriting is an exciting genre that offers opportunities for storytelling that appeals both to young adult readers/viewers as well as older audiences who appreciate compelling narratives focused on the journey from adolescence into adulthood

Is YA a Screenwriting Genre?

YA is not considered a genre but rather an age range for books and films.

YA fiction explores the teenage years and the experiences faced by young protagonists. It covers various genres like fantasy, romance, dystopian, and contemporary. YA stories focus on themes such as identity, self-discovery, coming-of-age, and first love.

Many successful adaptations of YA books have hit the big screen in recent years. For this blog outline specifically about screenwriting, we will be discussing YA in the context of writing screenplays for young adult viewers.


In screenwriting, YA refers to stories and scripts that are specially created for young adult audiences. These stories focus on the experiences and challenges faced by teenagers, exploring themes like identity, self-discovery, and first love.

With their diverse perspectives and relatable characters, YA screenplays have become popular and influential in both the book and film industries. So if you’re looking to write for a younger audience, understanding what makes YA different can help you craft engaging stories that resonate with young adults.


What is YA (Young Adult) in screenwriting?

YA, or Young Adult, in screenwriting, means teen fiction and coming-of-age stories used in youth novels and adolescent literature.

Who are the YA readers/viewers?

The YA audience is typically teenagers who enjoy stories about teenage characters in young adult novels with themes that echo their own experiences.

What kind of story does YA storytelling cover?

YA stories often feature teen romance, juvenile fiction, and coming-of-age situations which reflect experiences familiar to young adults.

Can anyone write a YA genre screenplay?

Yes! But it helps if you understand the world of teenage culture, from how to create relatable teenage characters to using effective storytelling techniques for this audience.

Why is there a need for YA authors?

YA authors play a big role as they use their knack for creating fictional characters and plots that inspire and appeal specifically to teenagers.