Yes, This Will Be On the Test

Writing, Reading, Laughing

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Back in high school English we all learned about universal conflicts:

Man vs. Man
Man vs. Nature
Man vs. Himself
Man vs. Machine

It’s a blast to write YA because in the teen universe EVERYTHING is a conflict, spanning the spectrum from global to minutia.

Teen vs. Parents
Teen vs. Siblings
Teen vs. Friend today gone tomorrow
Teen vs. Teachers and School
Teen vs. Weather that makes your hair frizz
Teen vs. Their own reflection in the mirror
Teen vs. Trendy Outfits
Teen vs. The DMV
Teen vs. The Fast Food Job
Teen vs. Lack of Money
Teen vs. Social Status
Teen vs. Hair Product
Teen vs. Acne
Teen vs. Acceptance
Teen vs. Cell Phone Service
Teen vs. Who has a car?
Teen vs. the Internet
Teen vs. Curfew
Teen vs. Everyone is stupid except for me

Spy vs. Spy – Sorry, couldn’t resist giving a shout out to my old MAD MAGAZINE reading days.

I’ve only scratched the surface.   Dig out your own teen conflicts and share.


  1. Awesome list - totally cracked me up!

    Back in my high school days it was often Teen vs hair spray :) I've also seen teen vs make up and teen vs cliques. This will have me thinking all day! :)

  2. Great adds, Jemi. Ah, yes I remember the Aqua Net days.

  3. This is awesome--I particularly connected to "Teen versus Trendy Outfits," because I've watched my 15-year-old switch complete outfits five (yes, FIVE) times in the morning, then complain that she doesn't have enough time to make her lunch--it's so hard not to giggle while I'm grabbing the peanut butter.

  4. Hey, Jess. Just as my daughter and her clothing dilemmas went away to college, my teen son decided he wanted to wear something other than t-shirts. Out of the frying pan...

  5. I love this! Oh the memories. :D

  6. Thanks, Stina. And we thought all that agony was for nothing. Now it's our treasure chest of material.

  7. Haven't finished battling with lack of money or hair products :D

  8. LOL, I never thought of that! VERY clever of you!
    And btw, every time that I come to your blog, I think I mistakenly arrived to mine! They so alike! :P

  9. I think the same thing when I go to your blog, Monica. We both have great taste in backgrounds.

  10. Ha ha!! I love that list. :D Left you something on my blog btw.

  11. *Nodding my head* Yep, I remember each of these conflicts, and boy, that memory sure comes in handy when writing about teen angst.

  12. Hiya Julie and Lisa. I'm still waiting for some of those conflicts to go away. I'll hope right over to your blog, Lisa. Did you leave me a pony?

  13. HAHA, AWESOME! Teen vs hair product. Love it!

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  14. And those teens are DEADLY serious about "dos" aren't they, Angela?

  15. Laughing. That teen vs hair product reminds me of the time my brother put "Born Blonde" (or was it "Sun-In"?) in his brown hair and turned it bright orange. Lol. Our grandfather thought he did it on purpose and gave him a stern lecture.

  16. That's hilarious, Lee. I remember trying to get the green chlorine streaks out of my hair with Sun-In. Disaster.

  17. I'm not a YA writer, but I'll give it a try:

    Teen VS Too Many Bowls of Cereal After School (This was a big one for me)

  18. Welcome, Perri. A worthy addition. I lived on Cocoa Puffs.