WRITE HABIT: #NYSCBWI15 Seven Things You Need To Know About Writing YA Fiction with Razorbill Editor Liz Tingue
New York Times The Way We Bared Our Souls New York Times Marcel the Shell with Shoes On Zodiac
She broke her talk into Acts with the Seven Things You Need to Know about Writing YA Fiction woven in. Check it out:
It's crucial to keep up with major trends and players of the YA world—but don’t limit yourself. Seek inspiration in Adult fiction, nonfiction, poetry, memoirs, and biographies.
STUCK IN A RUT?
- Join/create a book club
- Expose yourself to diff voices and POV
- Read about books and the book industry.
- Sign up for Publishers Weekly’s Children’s Bookshelf newsletter for biweekly updates on the children’s book biz.
- Find inspiration everywhere—TV, movies, internet memes, viral videos,blogs. Teens don’t live in a vacuum—you shouldn’t either.
THINK: Twitter Wattpad
**DON’T spend your life tweeting and forget to write your novel.
BEST TIP: Agents and editors research querying authors on social media—no one wants a whiner or a meanie.
SOCIAL MEDIA ROLE MODELS: John Green, Sarah Dessen, and Veronica Roth
ACT II: The Writing Process
3. DO get to know your characters REALLY WELL
Techniques to use: Character sketches
ONCE you know your character…put him or her into ACTION.
Boil MC’s arc into WANTS and NEEDS
**EDITOR TIP: If you’re doing it right, your characters WANTS and NEEDS should be in direct conflict.
4. VOICE: You need to decide POV and tense. BUT don’t force it. It must come naturally.
1st person: An intimate voice for a coming of age story
3rd person: Fantasy/Sci-fi
**BEST TIP: If you lose momentum on your POV, try writing the story from a different character’s voice and see if it’s a better fit. Change tense. Play around.
PLAIN OLD COMMON SENSE: Don’t talk down to your reader. Kids are SMART. Readers are SMARTER!!
5. PLOT & STRUCTURE: Make maps for plot & structure. DON’T be afraid to stray once in a while.
*If you have a map, you can get back to beginning…especially if you take a detour or all off the tracks.
**BEST TIP: Always good to know the rules of good writing AND THEN you can break them. (If appropriate)
STRUCTURE: Beginning, Middle, End
ACT 1: Always shorter than you think
ACT 2: MID: Action/events etc.
ACT 3: END
WRITE TIP: Ask question at the end of one chapter and answer in next chapter.
ACT III: Taking it to the Finish Line
6. JOIN A CRITIQUE GROUP & DON’T BE AFRAID TO LOVE CRITICISM
Love criticism. Invite it. Ask for it. Find someone who will tell you the truth—Find a Sagittaurius. They’re honest. (Liz is a Sagittaurius and PROUD of it!)
Edit process is part of writing.
7. DO PERSEVERE WHEN GOING GETS TOUGH but DON’T be afraid to walk away.
Writing is hard work. Keep at it, but if a MS isn't working, don't be afraid to walk away.
KIM TIP: Try something new. Don't stop writing, just work on something else.
“YA is about the experience of being young.”
LIZ TINGUE WISHLIST:
Contemporary, Voicey, Coming of Age
Families, friendship, alternating POV, Big romance
(She sees and feels there’s some reeling back of love triangles.)