Hi everyone – happy Monday. This week we are talking about readers. Teen readers, more specifically. Since I write YA, I really listen to what teen readers tell me about why they buy certain books, what kinds of stories they like, etc.

And I am sharing what they had to tell me – with you. All Week!

Today, I want to share some great advice I got from YA Author Debby Garfinkle. She, too, uses teen readers often. And she has figured out how to elicit good crit suggestions from them.

She calles it the A.B.C. technique:

Tell me what is Awesome

Tell me what is Boring

Tell me what is Confusing


BRILLIANT!  This is my new way of doing it. And man, I have had great results. Even from my more seasoned teen readers.

Try it out – let me know what you think!

13 thoughts on “Using Teen Readers

  1. My teen betas tell me if the dialogue is realistic. They also tell me if I misapply tech. They are also great judges of the “hot boy” factor. What’s sexy to old fogies like me doesn’t always work with them. For example, a guy flipping his hair out of his eyes is evidently hot. To me, it indicates he needs a haircut. 😉

  2. orson scott card has similiar advice, and i was thrilled when i read it in his book, “How to Write Fantasy and SciFi” ….because that’s what i had been doing all along….just maybe not in such a clever ABC way.
    good – no, great – advice that we should be reminded of frequently!

  3. Wow, what a great idea! I have adult beta readers for my YA manuscript, and I’ve been thinking I should ask my friends’ teenagers to read it too. Your ABC method of critique would be perfect for them.

  4. I hadn’t thought about it like that either. Thanks for the tip. And YA aside, I think this is applicable to any genre. Sometimes when the simple things are spelled out, it makes them so much more clear!

  5. Wow, what a great idea! So simple, but I can see it being really effective. I’ll definitely try it next time a teen is beta-reading for me!

  6. A-B-C’s. Easy as 1-2-3!

    Oh wait, that’s a song. 😀

    Great post, Christine!!! Awesome, Boring, Confusing–I’m all over it! *rushes to manuscript to apply*

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