Posts Tagged ‘Tips on writing for teens’

Deborah Halverson, editor, author, (and previous Writing on the Sidewalk spotlight star),  gave a fantastic presentation at the San Diego October SCBWI meeting.

Articulate and informative, Deborah gave the audience some concrete tools to use in writing for the young adult reader. Her presentation was a companion talk to go with her new craft book, WRITING YOUNG ADULT FICTION FOR DUMMIES.

Which has a new book trailer out this week:

In honor of its debut, she is offering a “Free First 20 Pages Critique Giveaway” – I would very much like to win!

On to a few highlights from her talk…

I loved the way she obviously respects adolescent readers and treasures that  very particular developmental stage of life as a time of great feeling and passion. She reminded us oldies in the audience that most teen behaviors and attitudes (of over-reaction and exaggeration as well as grandiose perceptions self, for example) Рin other words, the things that make parents nuts Рare a natural part of adolescence and growing up.

In writing for teens, we can hope to build vocabulary, open and expand minds and imaginations, and create life-long reading habits; BUT she reminded us why teens read… to be entertained!

As Deborah said, “Show, Don’t Preach.”

A few more tidbits from her talk:

  • Most teens judge-act-react-deal with consequences. They don’t over-analyze the why of what they do.
  • Think big, push hard. This is what teens do – and what authors should do in the books written for them.
  • Know your character’s goal, flaw and strength that will help them overcome their flaw.

I plan to share my thoughts on her craft book later this week. Be sure to check out her Dear Editor blog where she answer a multitude of questions from real live writer-readers. You could get your questions answered too!

Sarah Wones Tomp


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