What is a tween, you might ask. Tween is defined as “neither a young child nor an adolescent, one of an age in the range of 8 to 12 years old or a similar range”. This means that they are no longer considered as young children but they are not yet teenagers.
It can be a difficult age. They can appear as sophisticated youngsters with a different set of values and expectations as well as purchasing power. They are more inclined to be impressionable and be motivated by wanting to belong, yet have freedom and fun. These conditions and motivations affect their choice of clothes, recreation and entertainment.
Today’s breed of tweens is more image-conscious, affected by their exposure to different mediums and sources of information. They also want to assert their own individuality and identity and more often resent parental interference.
Tweens have become a potential market for the publishing industry. They can be independent readers and capable of comprehending materials with a tone and voice aimed at the young adult market although they are not yet as interested in serious topics such as sexuality, relationships and dating.
Except for comic books and thrillers which appeal more to boys, most tween publications are girl-oriented, with easy to read and understand words more focused on sweet relationships, with an element of romance and some humor.
To be a tween writer, below are some considerations worth looking into:
- Keep in mind that your audience is at a crossroads who consider themselves as mature individuals with regard attitude and fashion yet not old enough for dating and sexual relationships.
- Subject matters should be hip, related to current trends in gadgets, fashion and fashion accessories and movies and music aimed at this particular market. They are veritable fans of just about anything trendy as they go about developing and later making intelligent choices.
- The mood and tone should be fun and light, addressing topics aimed at very young teens. You do not have to categorize the tweens. You need to put a voice for the tweens – what they are interested in, what they want to discuss, what they want to see and hear and what they want to wear.
- Put a character in your manuscript that the tweens can identify with. The main characters should be surrounded by friends. Keep closer to the truth and what happens in real life. It will benefit you so much if you do your research and observe first hand how tweens act and interact with different people and circumstances.
- Build a strong, exciting storyline, with believable character and situations that this particular age group can relate to and in their own unique set of vocabulary. It should be something that teaches them values and truths subtly disguised as fun things to do.
Remember that tweens are also human and already capable of making choices. They are intelligent and ready to absorb knowledge. Make it a rule to choose materials and content that could impart knowledge and teachings that can make help them in their transition from a tween to a young adult.