Creative Writing Ideas
Cool Stories for
Preteen and Teen Readers
Here are our top creative writing ideas garnered from surveys of what teenagers want to read. Get the coolest story writing ideas for preteen stories and popular teen books - write the best inspirational stories, best fantasy books, best love stories, best mystery books, thriller and adventure stories, funny stories, and much more.
Reading tastes change as adolescents mature; teens look for stories that address the issues they face at each stage of their lives.
Creative Writing Ideas: Cool Ideas for Preteen Stories (9 to 12 years)
Preteen readers like their stories to zip along at a fast pace, with plenty of action and humor. They enjoy adventure and mystery stories where the child protagonists solve problems by themselves: for example, Franklin Dixon's Hardy Boys series, Caroline Keene's Nancy Drew series and Herge's Tintin series.
Preteens want protagonists to be their own age or slightly older: heroes and heroines who are brave, active, intelligent and resourceful, capable of handling difficult situations independently: for example, Dicey in Cynthia Voigt's Homecoming and Dicey's Song.
Stories revolving round family, friends and school are also popular; for example, LM Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables and sequels, Patricia Reilly Giff's Kids of the Polk Street School series, Ann Martin's Babysitters Club series and Francine Pascal's Sweet Valley High series.
Preteens also look for books that address family problems, relationship questions and growing-up issues they themselves are facing: for example, Paula Danziger's The Divorce Express and Can You Sue Your Parents for Malpractice?
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Cool Ideas for Preteen Stories
For lists of bestselling Preteen Books and worldwide sales figures, go to
Popular Preteen Stories
Creative Writing Ideas: Exciting Story Writing Ideas for Early Teen Books (13 to 14 years)
Write about challenges these readers can identify with, such as adolescent issues and relationship problems with family and friends. Examples: Sharon Creech's Bloomability; Irene Hunt's Up a Road Slowly; Yvonne Coppard's Not Dressed Like That, You Don't; Rosie Rushton's Just Don't Make a Scene, Mum!
Adventure and fantasy stories sell well too. Early teens look for strong, true-to-life protagonists who win against the odds; this inspires them to overcome their own problems. Check out Will Hobbs' Jason's Gold and Down the Yukon; Robert Siegel's Whalesong; White Whale; and Ice at the End of the World; Nancy Bond's A String in the Harp; and Brian Jacques' Redwall and sequels.
Romances, both contemporary and historical, are popular too. Readers of this age enjoy light romances, which don't necessarily have to end in a wedding: the interest centers on the boy-girl relationship, and the trials and tribulations of the hero and heroine.
Many authors also throw in a dash of romance when writing adventure, fantasy, historical or other fiction. For example, Francine Pascal's Sweet Valley High series revolves round school life as well as the love lives of the teenage characters.
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Exciting Story Writing Ideas for Early Teen Books
Find out the kinds of books most popular with early teens, the bestsellers among them, and the worldwide sales figures for each: go to
Top Books for Early Teens
Creative Writing Ideas: Cool Stories for Mid-Teens (15 to 17 years)
Like Early Teens, Mid-Teens go for adventure, fantasy and family stories, but these should explore themes in greater depth.
Readers look for books that address issues like family relationships, family breakups, peer pressure, bullying, drug abuse, personal responsibility, faith and love. Check out Gail Carson Levine's The Wish; KL Going's Fat Kid Rules the World; Valerie Hobbs' Tender; Jennifer Donnelly's A Northern Light; and Ivan Southall's What About Tomorrow?
Mid Teens also enjoy intimate family stories like Madeleine L'Engle's Meet the Austins; The Moon by Night; The Ring of Endless Light; and Troubling a Star.
Romances continue to be popular, as with early teens. So do stories about school or college life: these often include some romantic interest, for example, Laura Peyton Roberts' Clearwater Crossing series and Francine Pascal's Sweet Valley University series.
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Cool Story Ideas for Writers of Mid-Teen Books
Find out the kinds of books most popular with mid-teens, the bestsellers among them, and the worldwide sales figures for each: go to
Cool Books for Mid-Teens
Creative Writing Ideas: Meaningful Issues for Maturing Teens (18 to 19 years)
These more mature readers take a lively interest in social issues, and look for books that help them in their transition to adulthood. They enjoy novels that deal with personal and interpersonal challenges, as well as adventures, fantasies and romances, and stories of family and university life.
Stories are richer in plot and character development than for the earlier years; irony, allegory and other subtleties of language and meaning are now within the understanding of readers. Issues of human rights and interpretations of world events can be more fully explored than for younger teens.
To get your ideas flowing, look at contemporary novels like Chaim Potok's The Chosen; The Promise; My Name is Asher Lev; and The Gift of Asher Lev; Melody Carlson's Diary of a Teenage Girl and It's My Life.
Get ideas from adventure books, too: T Davis Bunn's The Great Divide; John Moore's The Breaking of Ezra Riley and Leaving the Land; and Robin McKinley's The Hero and the Crown and The Blue Sword.
Historical fiction has a following too, among this age group: see, for example, Gillian Bradshaw's A Beacon at Alexandria; The Bearkeeper's Daughter; and Horses of Heaven; Eugenia Price's The Beloved Invader; Lighthouse; Savannah; To See Your Face Again; and Before the Darkness Falls.
Maturing adolescents also look for mystery stories with intriguing twists in the plot: check out Josephine Tey's The Daughter of Time; Tom Clancy's Red Storm Rising; and Frank Peretti's This Present Darkness.
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Marvelous Story Ideas for Mature Teens
Find out the kinds of books most popular with mature teens, the bestsellers among them, and the worldwide sales figures for each: go to
Bestsellers for Mature Teens
Creative Writing Ideas: Piggyback on Bestselling Ideas
Look for books popular with your target age-group and read as many of them as possible, to understand why they appeal to readers. Piggyback on the ideas in them to create your own original plots.
For lists of best selling books for Preteens and Teens, visit
Top Preteen and Popular Teen Books.
These lists include some of the most enduring classics, as well as stories by many of the best writers of today.
Reading tastes change as teens grow. Certain qualities, however, hold a timeless appeal for young readers of all ages: to find out more, visit
How to Write Stories Kids & Teens Want to Read.
Writing for younger readers? Go to
Creative Writing Ideas: Hot Favorites for Kids.
For a step-by-step guide to story writing, visit
How to Write a Book: Creative Story Writing Tips that Work!
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