Writing Great Books for Young Adults has been updated since it’s original release in 2008 to include info on YA non-fiction and New Adult, both of which are rapidly growing genres.
The publishing industry officially considers YA fiction to be written for readers between the ages of 12 and 18 and want characters in that same age range. The part that makes people say “Wait. What?” is the little known fact that the two biggest audiences for YA are readers 18-29, who by 35% of all YA purchases, and readers 30-44, who buy 27% of all YA sales. Crazy, right? 62% of ALL YA sales are from people outside the target demographic. Young Adult novels are more popular than ever and chances are you’ve read a couple and maybe not even realized it was supposed to be a YA book.
So you’ve read ’em. Now you want to write one? Where to begin? This book offers a great place to start. From understanding and building your plot, deciding on a point of view, writing dialogue, finding your theme and crafting a satisfying conclusion, Regina L. Brooks has you covered. Like mini workshops hosted by an industry insider, each chapter is filled with tips, explanations and examples of what to do, what not to do, and how to do it better.
Got your first draft all shined up pretty and ready to go? Take a gander at the section on getting constructive feedback and how to use it. The book closes out with chapters on finding an agent if you want to go that route and wraps up by expanding on YA non-fiction and that new and oh so confusing (it seems) New Adult category.
Courtesy of the publisher, you can read an excerpt here (PDF ) of Chapter 1: Five Rules for Engaging Reads of YA Fiction.
Overall, the book is a nice little piece of tips, hints, and solid advice for any new writer. I believe it would be a useful read for anyone starting out, regardless of what genre they’re writing. It’s a great outline to get a new writer rolling. It’s an instruction manual to be followed to the letter and there were a few parts that I disagreed with but most of it was good.
So read this book.
Then go write a kick-ass heroine.