Young Adult fiction....What it takes to write YA

Young adult fiction is a popular genre and one of the most difficult to get right.

Young adults cannot be fooled by flowery words. They want to read what is real. They want to connect to the characters in a way that makes them know the author understands the perils of being a young adult.

The plot must be more complex than that of books for the younger reader and the story must involve real life issues that young adults care about or have experienced.

To write young adult fiction you must first read young adult fiction. You must know how young adults think, feel, and act.

Shifty by Author Lynn E. Hazen is a must read if you are thinking about writing for young adults. Ms. Hazen has done a fabulous job of getting into the heart of the character and finding what is good and what is real. She takes the reader right into the mind of the main character who is dealing with being abandoned and she makes you care. The author not only makes you care, but after reading this story, you may change how you feel and react to others in a similar situation.

Tips for writing for YA:

1. Read everything you can for young adults and start with SHIFTY

2. Make a list of topics you are interested in that would be of interest to YA readers

3. Begin character descriptions and find the character in your heart that you are the most passionate about.

4. Begin the research of publishers for Young Adult readers and start thinking about where your story would fit.

5. Work on plot, characters, setting, and theme of your YA story

6. Write, write, and write.

When you feel you have the first draft ready, then the revision and editing process begins. It is a long journey but a rewarding one. Take your time with each step and make certain your story is real and speaks to the young adult reader.

7. Query publishers when you have an outline and a theme

8. Join a writers group or critique group to help you with the process

9. Prepare your manuscript in a professional way, adhering to the guidelines of the publisher you have chosen.

10. Submit your writing and begin again.

It is a process, and it is important to enjoy it along the way and to stay passionate about the project. The passion will show through in your writing and make it more marketable to young adult readers.

Blessings on this writing journey you are about to take; You can do it. In the mean time, check out Ms. Hazen's website at:


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