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Writing Great Books for Young Adults Everything You Need to Know, from Crafting the Idea to Landing a Publishing Deal Paperback – 1 Sep 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc (1 Sept. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402226616
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402226618
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 14 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 553,050 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Minnilux on 10 April 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading some of the slightly more negative reviews relating to this title, I was a little apprehensive and worried that I might have wasted my money.
However, in my opinion Writing Great Books for Young Adults provides a useful introduction to writing fiction for teenagers and makes the beginning writer aware of some of the "pitfalls" to avoid. The book is well organized and while no aspect is covered in great depth (the author strives for breadth rather than depth), I closed the book with the feeling that I had learned some useful/ essential information. Differences between writing for a YA audience as opposed to an adult one are explained well, there are numerous short comments from professionals working in the field (editors, agents, etc.) and the chapters are clearly organized.
Having said that, I do not have a lot of experience writing (YA) fiction, so someone with more experience/ knowledge of writing and the YA market might not share this evaluation.

To summarize, this book is unlikely to provide you with a "magic receipe" on how to write a bestselling YA novel, but it will make you more aware of the most important issues involved in writing your novel and possibly getting it published.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Alianor on 17 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback
I've read lots of books about writing fiction. Although I studied creative writing at university level for several years, I'm not averse to reading books targeted at beginners because I can almost always learn something new. This book, however, was an exception. I looked at the author's website before ordering it and I had high hopes for it, but unfortunately it turned out to be one of the worst writing books I've ever read.

It starts with the assumption that the reader knows virtually nothing about writing fiction. This would not necessarily be a problem, but the author then tries to rapidly cover ALL the elements of writing fiction in a fairly short book. This approach means that a) nothing is covered in much depth and b) there isn't much space left to discuss YA fiction in particular. It would have been much more useful if she had focused on discussing what makes YA fiction distinct from adult fiction, and given recommendations for further reading on particular topics like plotting, characterization and point of view.

There are not enough detailed examples from published fiction to explain or demonstrate the author's points, and no discussion of current trends or authors, which means that readers who wonder what subjects might be controversial or overdone won't be able to find out from this book. Quotes from professionals are included, but these are too brief to be useful. It would have been really helpful to include more quotes from current writers in the field, and discuss how YA published now differs from YA published a few decades ago. A recommended reading list would have been good, too.

The book is really badly organised; much of the chapter on dialogue isn't even about dialogue!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Discerning reader on 19 Aug. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have read a large number of books on writing for children and this is easily one of the best. It is very clear and has excellent examples of plots, themes and how to create strong story lines.

I would recommend it to anyone writing for children. I think the title is too narrow as it is not only for authors aiming at the YA market but also would be helpful if you are writing any book for the over 8s.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Kim Deborah White on 8 May 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good read and explanations simple to follow. Feel I will learn loads from the advice and exercises given. Love it!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this book because it was the recommended text on an Oxford University short course for creative writing for YA's, but was quite disappointed as all the references to 'useful' websites etc. were in the USA.
Some helpful tips, but no different from those in other books, and again, very much geared towards the American market.
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