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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. ...


5

I'm going to spin this around for you. In Jeffrey Schechter's My Story Can Beat Up Your Story, Schechter suggests that a lot of theme is about the protagonist asking a thematic question, e.g., "Should I settle for less romantically?" "Can I balance 'ordinary' responsibilities with my secret identity?" "How do I decide who to trust?" And in ...


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 ...


5

This answer is highly, highly subjective. But I personally dislike almost every YA dystopian future novel I've ever read (they're all the same thing to me and they're all predictable), so I think if you're asking about reader expectations, I might be a good person to answer the question... mostly because I see similarities in all of the YA novels I've ...


4

Which end do readers expect? Either of the ones you given. Some will expect one, others the other That's why you should choose neither. You have two obvious options, plus a dull 'no choice made'. That's one point where the difference between a common book and an excellent one is made. This is where the protagonist should not just decide or fail to make a ...


3

Regarding the substance of your question: The maxim that Robert McKee passes along in Story is “give the readers what they expect, but not the way they expect it”. Your first option, where the protagonists don’t decide, is clearly unsatisfying. Even Hamlet eventually made a choice and acted on it. The second option, killing the bad guys, makes this a ...


3

I know I’m “bucking the hypo” here (as the law students say), but I have a lot of trouble with the premise that only 20 corpses stand between a mildly dystopian society and something radically better than even the most liberal real-world government can offer its citizens. If those 20 people have been profiting off of the misery and inequality of the society ...


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

I won't try to describe it, but here's how I would go about it: Put myself deep inside Brave's viewpoint. Notice what details she is taking in through her senses (see, hear, smell, touch, taste). Especially focus on her opinions of those sensory details. Whatever she has an opinion about, write that. Stay with her senses and opinions.


2

Your idealistic young heroes kill the 20, thereby getting what's necessary to change their dystopia into a utopia (at great personal sacrifice) -- and then watch in horror as human nature takes over. See: history of communism. See also: history of right-wing dictators. Utopias are highly unstable. Power corrupts. Everyone lies.


1

I think readers want a good story, not a particular type of ending. After writing (or even just outlining) all three endings, you'll be able to decide, better than we can, which is the best. We really can't say without more of the details. (On those details, though, I will say that: it depends greatly on the 20. Are they a secret society of corrupt ...



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