November 23, 2012

MG/YA Webinar

Recently, I “attended” a Writer's Digest webinar presented by literary agent Mary Kole.  Here are a few things that I learned from “How to Write Young Adult and Middle Grade Novels that will Sell.” 

MG usually runs about 35,000 words and YA is longer, about 45-90,000 words.  In today’s market, Mary believes a book should have high concept, action, adventure, and fantasy.  Above all, the book must have a quick pace.

If you’re thinking about writing MG/YA, Mary suggests that you start with a big question, and then think about how you would turn that question into a book.  She recommends thinking about the opposite of the big question, and put that into the book as well.

The structure of the novel looks like this:  
* an inciting incident
* turning points
* three attempts to resolve the big problem
* a dark moment
* the climax
* the resolution

Things to consider about the characters:
* The main character has to undergo a change.  
* The main character must have a want and obstacles that get in the way of the want. 
* Secondary characters may bring out other traits of the main character.
* Characters should be allowed to make mistakes.

The information presented in this blog post will get you thinking and planning as you write your novel for children, but there’s a lot more to writing for this genre.  For more, purchase Mary’s new book: Writing Irresistible Kidlit or visit the Writer’s Digest website: 

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