The project I’m working on now is YA which, I’ve come to find out as I trudge through writing the scenes, feels quite natural. I think the teenager in me (I’m 32 now) was yearning to be released and is ecstatic at this chance to shine. For my “research” in getting the voice just right, I’ve been tapping into the journals I kept back then, talking to my students, talking to family who is roughly the same age as my characters, and I’ve found that, for the most part, I’m pretty dead on (let’s see if that holds up!)
Every once in a while, though, I get caught up in terminology or phrases that I’m not sure sixteen- or seventeen-year-olds would say today.
One of my characters is a total flirt. She loves boys and loves flirting and, in one of my scenes calls the guys she’s watching “eye-candy.”
In my Novel Writing workshop through UCLA Writers Extension Program (side note: UCLA Writers Extension classes rock! I’ve been so blessed and lucky to have had wonderful instructors who’ve provided much-needed guidance and structure in my otherwise crazy world), one of my classmates commented that “eye-candy” seemed a bit old for sixteen, which baffled me a little since I was almost positive I’d heard that phrase from students and my neighbor’s fourteen-year-old daughter. But for the sake of research, I asked some of my female students what terms they used when talking about cute/hot guys.
I got… a snack. This, according to my students, is what they’re now using to refer to cute boys. A snack. As in, he’s such a snack. What a snack.
Really? Somehow, that seems just as demeaning as…. I don’t know, calling a cute/hot girl something edible. Edible and cuteness factor just don’t seem to mix. Maybe I’m not such a teen after all! (Though, I have NEVER heard the teenagers on the Disney Channel’s shows call cute guys a snack!)
I wonder what other terms exist today that I’m not used to. Please share them if you know of any!