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Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies

ISBN: 978-0-470-94954-2
384 pages
July 2011
Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies (0470949546) cover image


Your hands-on, friendly guide to writing young adult fiction

With young adult book sales rising, and bestselling authors like J.K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyer exploding onto the scene, aspiring YA writers are more numerous than ever. Are you interested in writing a young adult novel, but aren't sure how to fit the style that appeals to young readers?

Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies gives you tricks of the trade and proven tips on all the steps to write a YA book, from developing an idea to publication.

  • Unique writing exercises to help you find your own authentic teen voice
  • Tips to avoid when submitting manuscripts
  • How to break into the flourishing young adult market

With the help of this step-by-step guide, you'll have all the skills to write an inspiring and marketable young adult novel.

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Table of Contents

Foreword xxi

Introduction 1

Part I: Getting Ready to Write Young Adult Fiction 7

Chapter 1: The Lowdown on YA Fiction 9

Chapter 2: Targeting Teen Readers 19

Chapter 3: Managing Your Muse 35

Part II: Writing Riveting Young Adult Fiction 61

Chapter 4: Writing the Almighty Hook 63

Chapter 5: Creating Teen-Friendly Characters 75

Chapter 6: Building the Perfect Plot 97

Chapter 7: Creating Teen-Driven Action 117

Chapter 8: Setting Is More than Somewhere to Be 133

Chapter 9: Crafting a Narrative Voice Teens Will Listen To . . . and Love 151

Chapter 10: Talking Like a Teen 175

Part III: Editing, Revising, and Formatting

Your Manuscript 199

Chapter 11: Editing and Revising with Confidence 201

Chapter 12: The Finishing Touches: Formatting and Finalizing 219

Part IV: Getting Published 235

Chapter 13: Strategizing and Packaging Your Submissions 237

Chapter 14: Self-Publishing: Is It for You? 269

Chapter 15: Mastering Marketing 283

Part V: The Part of Tens 311

Chapter 16: Ten Common Pitfalls in Writing YA Fiction 313

Chapter 17: Ten Facts about Book Contracts 319

Chapter 18: Ten Ways to Make the Most of a Conference 329

Index 339

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Author Information

Deborah Halverson founded the writer's advice website DearEditor.com and was a veteran editor for young adult and children's fiction before picking up a pen and writing the teen novels Big Mouth and Honk If You Hate Me.
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Press Release

June 22, 2011
Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies®

From Harry Potter and the Twilight series to Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy, YA fiction has never been more popular. Even James Patterson has gotten into the game! For writers looking for tips of the trade, Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies® (Wiley, ISBN: 978-0-470-94954-2, July 2011) features essential information and steps necessary to write a fiction book for young adults, from developing an idea to publication. 

The book covers:

  • An overview of writing, from dialogue and point of view to plot, setting, and character construction
  • Tips for targeting an audience, finding an angle that’ll make the story stand out, and writing a killer hook
  • Unique writing exercises to help readers find their own authentic teen voice
  • How to avoid common mistakes in trying to reach teens 
  • Insider tips for finding the right agent and/or editor and preparing a stand-out submission package
  • Answers to common book contract questions
  • Advice on self-publishing for YA writers
  • An extensive chapter on self-marketing to help writers move boldly into the realm of self-promotion
  • Answers to questions such as: How do writers break in to the flourishing young adult market? How do they tap their wild side and find their "inner teen"? What are pitfalls to avoid when submitting manuscripts?

Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies® also features 13 National Book Award winners and finalists, Newbery medalists and honorees, and other award-winning luminaries sharing their insights. Notable contributors include: M.T. Anderson (foreword), Karen Cushman, Jane Yolen, Jennifer Donnelly, Deborah Wiles, Kathi Appelt, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Gary Soto, Mary E. Pearson, Jean Ferris, Darcy Pattison, agent Erin Murphy, and Senior Editor Kate Harrison at Dial Books for Young Readers.

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Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies (US $19.99)

-and- The Writing Teacher's Activity-a-Day: 180 Reproducible Prompts and Quick-Writes for the Secondary Classroom (US $19.95)

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