Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Ask Me Anything (about YA writing)

I have a new Write It Sideways post coming up in March, and I'd like to try something new for you guys. When Suzannah first approached me about writing for WiS, the fact that I'm a YA author came up in discussion more than once. I'm the only YA author on her blogger panel. I toyed with the idea of writing YA-specific posts since last fall, but so far I've had trouble narrowing it down to something that people will benefit from.

Basically, I'm not sure what to talk about because I'm not sure what you want me to talk about.

So I need your help.

If you're a new YA writer, or you want to be a YA writer, or even if you've been writing YA for a while but you aren't sure if your stories are ready to compete in the market...etc., etc., etc.,...then, please, ask me anything on your mind about it.

Ask me about style.

Ask me about structure.

Ask me about plot and theme and subtext.

Ask me about voice.

Ask me about high concept.

Ask me about teen viewpoint.

Ask me about YA romance.

Ask me about LGBT YA.

Ask me about contemp YA.

Ask me about SF/F YA.

Ask me about humor and wit.

Ask me about pitch-writing.

Ask me about opening pages, or endings, or middles...

Ask me anything (about YA writing).

Post your questions in the comments below. I'll select at least one to use in my next Write It Sideways post--I may use more than one. If I use your question I will credit you with a link to your website or blog. If I don't use your question at WiS, I'll answer your it here on my blog after the WiS post is live.

Thank you so much for helping me help you!

Happy writing,


  1. (Let me aim high.)

    What do you think are the best and worst elements of YA in general? (As in, it applies to most genres within the demographic.)

  2. It seems to me that there is little difference between the craft of a YA novel or that of an adult novel. The differences are more of voice, perspective, and the depth of the POV. I'd love a post on how you perceive those differences!

  3. Martina's question is good. Also there's differences between YA and middle grade. That would be a good topic.

    Voice is always something that is hard to nail. That would be another great post.

    Pitch-writing is another hard one. If you could do a post on that with some good pitch examples that would be really helpful.

    Hope this helps.

  4. I'm working on a series in which a third grade character goes back in time to meet famous people, all based on what she's studying in school. For example, in book one, she studies the Socratic Method, and thus, goes back in time to meet Socrates. I'm struggling with the authenticity and was wondering if you had any tips to make it feel more realistic and believable.

    1. Can you clarify what you mean by "authenticity"? Do you mean an authentic voice, or a realistic/believable plot, or something else?

  5. I would like to hear about writing a pitch. The advice seems all over the place. More specific details on story and voice and then the less that is said the better. I am having a hard time finding the middle ground. Then they tell you to show don't tell but writing less is better.

    1. I am replying to my own comment and I am repeating something I mentioned already but in more detail- how on earth do you "show" in a pitch rather than tell? Or is that even that important when writing a query?


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