Teen characters that YA authors create are like teens spring-boarding from high school to college. They begin their journey at one level of maturity. They end after a lot of growth at another. A good test of whether the novel is nearing completion is the main character’s growth. If that teen, new adult or young adult character no longer rolls her eyes in contempt and disdain for authority, or if he changes from a dangerous risk-taker into a think-before-acting person, growth has been achieved. The conflicts of the first chapter, first scene have been outgrown. The character is able handle situations that formerly would have baffled her or him.
Teens, like their adult counterparts, are likely to mistake sex for intimacy. To be intimate means to have trust, to be caring, honest and open. For writers of young adult fiction, the possibilities in this confusion present opportunities for character development.