What’s a better match? Wasn’t this the first genre you, as a teen, snuck to read or watch behind mom and dad’s back? For many this was the first date movie. Or the first book with blood descriptions and maybe even a little hanky panky. Now what was that rule from those teen movies? Right – have sex and die.
There’s something naughty about horror for teens. At least the ones I knew. And again it’s the scare – relief – laughter afterwards. And the sleeping with the lights on. The prone to believe and having to prove themselves.
Something scarier than real life.
The horror can be fake monsters hiding crooks to evil possession. But don’t short change your younger readers. Give them a strong story with the well-rounded characters we expect no matter how far-fetched the tale may be.
And make it fun. Horror needs humour to break the tension. It needs moments for readers to breathe and relax before the next fright hits. Think what works for adults, it is the same for this age. Sometimes you can get away with less, but other times you need even more.
Never underestimate your reader.