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8

My sense (as a reader, not someone who's published a YA novel) is that you kind of want to liken it to a PG-13 movie. If it's too graphic for a 13-year-old to be watching in a movie theatre, it's probably too graphic to be published in the YA category. However: 1) as John Smithers points out, that doesn't mean your protagonist can't still be a teenager. ...


7

This is kinda obvious but it does definitely affect breaking up the story, so I think it deserves emphasis. Being a recent graduate from the Young Adult market, I strongly recommend that you divide it in such a way that each standalone book ends on some kind of incredibly surprising cliffhanger, or an ending that has the reader ferociously needing to know ...


6

Both scenarios have lots of potential for great storytelling. When choosing between them, consider what kind of story you'd most like to tell, and which of the two is going in a direction you find more interesting/compelling. Let me throw some light on the primary differences between the two avenues you're suggesting. Conspiracy If the drug is a secret, ...


5

There's a good thread on this over at Absolute Write - http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=184551 The general consensus there seems to be that there is definitely a limit on how explicit YA sex should be. They suggest going for the more 'poetic' approach rather than an explicit or erotic one, and I think that makes sense. ETA:I didn't ...


5

Hmm. In situation A you get to work with the theme of a government lying to its people "for their own good"-- security vs. freedom is what that is, and you get to use the secrecy of the drug as a plot device-- who will the girl tell; who will believe her? Who else will find out, and who else already knows? In situation B you get to work with the theme of ...


5

I think it's important to figure out why you were bored by the mining community setting. Is it because the character made too much of the details without giving the reader a sense of why they were important? For example, if the reader is following the character through a day in the mines, are the details important because we don't know if at any moment the ...


4

I don't know about Sweet72's reference to Japanese literature or how that relates to English literary forms. But in common American usage, a "novella" is a shorter work than a "novel". Some give formal definitions, like a novel is over 40,000 words while a novella is 20,000 to 40,000. But I think the real, practical definition is that a novel is a story ...


4

Have you already considered flipping a coin? I'm not kidding. Ok, the answer "your story, your choice" will not help, even though it is the best answer for your question. So I'm telling you the real question behind your question: "How could I overcome the resistance to write?" Oh, you won't like the answer to this one either: Just write. If you want to ...


3

I would be careful about being too specific with slang for teenagers. There are huge regional variations, and what may sound natural to teen readers in one region (or even part of town!) could sound unnatural and jarring to readers from not that far away. You also have to make sure you aren't 'dating' your story, as slang changes fairly quickly over time. ...


3

One of the things that first came to mind on this is to address it the same as any research you would do for any other novel. If you write a book about a French character, you may have to look up certain phrases in French. If you want to feature a younger character, do some research to get a sense of how they speak, as well as their mannerisms. One way to ...


2

I'm 18- so although I feel qualified to give an answer; thats a very broad question, and it can be a daunting task for any writer. Even though sometimes I reflect on a conversation I've had with my friends, and stand back and realise how it would be total nonsense to one of my parents- there are countless niches of slang for teens, all over the English ...


2

In Québec, we have Patrick Senecal who writes YA books (or the French Canadian cultural equivalent, «romans jeunesses»), and eh is known for his gory and disturbing stories. I think it's an author's decision whether or not to be graphic, and a reader's choice whether or not to read books with very graphic and or disturbing description.


2

There is no hard set rule, and the boundaries are constantly expanding. Tender Morsels deals with incest, molestation, gang rape, abortions, and many other extremely adult issues. But it does so with implications and metaphors more often than gritty details (don't get me wrong, the book is amazing). So many of the issues could be glossed over by a reader ...


2

As per Wikipedia's Light Novel article: A light novel is a style of Japanese novel primarily targeting middle and high school students. [...] They are typically not more than 40,000–50,000 words long (the shorter ones being equivalent to a novella in US publishing terms), rarely exceed 200 pages, often have dense publishing schedules, are usually ...


1

I think it needs to be kept secret, scenario 1. Otherwise, curious citizens might have already tried resistance, stopped eating and drinking to see the effects of being off the drug. In either scenario, the drugged population would be apathetic about getting rid of the drug. Their emotions would be suppressed, so they wouldn't rebel, and (in scenario 2) ...


1

The Tomorrow When the War Began series is probably very similar to what you are describing. It's seven (brilliant) novels, following one major story arc. What the author, John Marsden, did was to give each story its own resolution, but still leave the reader wanting to know more. This was usually done by leaving something about a character unanswered, so ...


1

The first thing I would do is see what the normal length for a YA book is. It seems to me they are around 50k to 60k words. They can be much longer, but you have to be established. Even the first Harry Potter book was a fairly normal length of the genre. Once you know the normal length you can shoot for the first book to hit around that mark, then go from ...



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