The Worlds of R. A. Hortz
Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies
|Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies
By Deborah Halverson
John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2011
Reviewed by Anna Dogole - January 17, 2013
>From learning just what qualifies as young adult fiction to pitching your finished manuscript to book publishers, Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies is a gold mine of information for both novice and seasoned writers looking to break into the young adult fiction market. This book was written by Deborah Halverson who worked as a book editor for Harcourt Children's Books for ten years, and has since gone on to publish several novels for teenagers. She is the founder of DearEditor.com, a website filled with a plethora of helpful advice for authors. Halverson also answers readers' questions via this website. It is very informative and you should check it out if you are serious about writing and getting your book(s) published!
As with most of the "for Dummies" books, this one is written in an easy to understand style interspersed with handy tips, warnings about potential pitfalls that you might encounter, and reminders about important information that you cannot afford to overlook. Throughout, Halverson's advice is to the point, practical, and it highlights the differences that you will find between writing for young adults and other genres. Although this book concentrates on writing fiction, much of the information in this book also applies to writing young adult nonfiction.
In all, there are eighteen chapters in this book, divided into five parts. The chapters are preceded by a short introduction that will help you get the most out of Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies.
In a nutshell, Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies ably serves as a self-study guide for writing YA fiction, and marketing your finished book. This book will be of most use to those new to the YA market, although those already writing YA fiction, but not get published, will also find some helpful tidbits of information that will help them make the leap to becoming a published author! Written by an insider, this book gives you the information you need to make a start writing young adult fiction. Happy writing!
- Part One: This section prepares you for the process of writing for the young adult market. Topics covered include an overview on the ins and out of writing young adult fiction, how to target teen readers, and tips on developing and managing your muse.
- Part Two: Delve into the nuts and bolts of writing captivating young adult fiction. This section covers topics such as crafting your hook, developing characters that teen readers will connect to, developing your plot, including plenty of action in your novel, creating your book's setting, developing your narrative voice, and mastering the art of dialogue.
- Part Three: The third section of this book concentrates on one area of writing that most writers' do not like - editing, revising, and formatting your manuscript, i.e., polishing your manuscript. While sometimes tedious and seldom as much fun as writing your first draft, developing solid editing and revising skills are essential if you are serious about getting your book published. This section will not make you an expert, but it will start you on the right path with sage advice and the basic skills that you'll need to tackle those dreaded, but necessary, revisions.
- Part Four: You've studied the markets, you've polished your manuscript until it shines, now what? Trying to get it published, what else? In this section, Halverson offers tips on how to develop your marketing strategy and how to package your submission so that you can begin to send it off to publishers or agents. Along the way she'll help with query letters, crafting a synopsis of your book, and how to put the entire submission package together - along with tips on how to keep from going crazy as you wait for the publisher or agent's response. She also offers a chapter on the ins and outs of self-publishing, along with guidance on how to determine if that is the way for you to go.
- Part Five: The final section of this book includes three short chapters covering common pitfalls that you might encounter while writing for the YA fiction market, some basic information on book contracts, and the final chapter offers advice on how to get the most out of writing conferences.