Thursday, December 20, 2018

"The Young Adult Writer’s Journey" by Elizabeth Fortin-Hinds and Janet Schrader-Post


EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
The Young Adult Writer’s Journey:
An Encyclopedia for YA Writers
by Elizabeth Fortin-Hinds and
Janet Schrader-Post

The Young Adult Writer’s Journey: An Encyclopedia for YA Writers by Elizabeth Fortin-Hinds and Janet Schrader-Post

The Young Adult Writer’s Journey by Elizabeth Fortin-Hinds and Janet Schrader-Post is currently on tour with Bewitching Book Tours. The tour stops here today for an excerpt and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


Description
Finally, an all-inclusive book on young adult fiction must-do, don’t do and how-to. If you want to write a young adult novel, you need to read this book first. Coauthored by an award-winning YA author and an acquisitions editor, both experts on kids and what they like to read, this encyclopedia contains all you need to start or improve a career as a YA fiction author.
From an examination of the market, genre and its sub-genres, to mechanics and the business, everything is at your fingertips. This amazing writer’s resource is written in a relaxed and interesting style, with plenty of contemporary references and examples for clear understanding and easier application.

Book Video


Excerpt
When you talk about world-building, many writers think you’re talking about fantasy lands like Narnia, Westeros, Panam or Middle Earth. For most teens, school is their world. What kind of home life they have is their world and these worlds need to be just as complicated as Narnia. Well-developed teen worlds like Hogwarts, North Shore High School, home of the Mean Girls, Rydell High School of Grease, and Panem of Hunger Games are so well-developed they seem real, and you remember them as though they were a place you visited.
To create a real world for teens in our times, you really need to know them: what they do every day, what they like, what motivates them, the environment in high schools and many other details. Home life for kids is very different from twenty or even ten years ago. It takes two incomes now to support a growing family or to succeed, so both parents most likely work. This leaves kids as young as nine or ten at home alone for long periods of time (or even younger, unfortunately). The enemy of these parents is the school holiday, and it seem like there’s more than ever. These parents have no idea what to do with their children. Many can’t afford childcare, so the kids are home alone. It’s a thing you must think about when writing for them.
Children come from all levels of society. Poor kids will view the world through different eyes than kids who have well-off parents. Kids living with a single parent might have a different view of the world as well as different social structures. The kids with single parents or working parents might have to go hungry on weekends, on school holidays and especially during the summer. It’s hard to think about, but true. There are teenagers out there who eat breakfast and lunch at school and their families provide dinner. Sometimes all they get is their school meals some days. When school is out, they scavenge and fend for themselves or they don’t eat.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“The Young Adult Writer's Journey is a ‘Must Have’ at your fingertip reference for anyone who writes (or wants to write) for or about kids. Engaging text with topical and thought-provoking insights leading from idea to submission ... and beyond to populate a story with believable characters young readers can relate to.” ~ ~ Nancy Gideon, Award-Winning author of the By Moonlight series
“The trouble with ‘how to’ books on creativity is that they usurp creativity. Not so with this very insightful guide for YA writing. If it doesn’t become a standard or even a classic among reference books, it will be an oversight. Janet Schrader-Post and Elizabeth Fortin-Hinds have all the marinated smarts and credentialed experience to pull this off, and they do! No dictated wisdom from on high here, no grafted creativity, The Young Adult Writer’s Journey is accessible, motivational and a clear map that leaves plenty of room to discover for anyone wanting to explore their creative side.” ~ Thomas Sullivan, Pulitzer-nominated author of The Phases of Harry Moon
“The level of detail makes this a must-have and it addresses some aspects of crafting a story that many similar books miss, such as improving a sagging middle or crafting a series. It also includes a couple of chapters I've never seen in a book of this type, like coming up with a good high concept and writing with a partner. It also goes farther than just writing advice and delves into the business side. It seems destined to become a classic. This is a great book on writing YA, but it's also a great book on writing in general.” ~ J. Jackson
“Easily accessible format. Lots of examples on how to as well as how not to write YA novel. All the basics are here for writing any type of novel and also how to market and sell. Very informative.” ~ Wheresmyluce
“Outstanding book on the young adult genre. Great how too book. The artwork and illustrations were really well done.” ~ Mary Morey

My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.


By Lynda Dickson
The authors lead us through the main features of young adult books. Topics covered include: structure, characters, world-building, setting, language, point of view, pacing, the ending, writing a series, what agents are looking for, writing with a partner, and marketing. The irony is that the authors themselves don’t have much of a social media presence.
Throughout the book, the authors use Harry Potter as a case study, although the majority of examples are from movies - not books - with major spoilers for movies/books the authors assume we’ve all seen/read. While the scope of the information is impressive, the execution is flawed. The content is repetitive, there are numerous editing and formatting errors, and the structure is disorganized. It’s difficult to see how the different areas discussed relate to one another, as there is no flow. In addition, the content would be greatly enhanced by the use of lists and tables. While it’s commendable that the authors wanted to illustrate their own book, the illustrations by Janet, with one by Elizabeth (Chapter 15), are less than impressive, and they would have been better served by employing a professional illustrator.
Major takeaway: “In order to write for young adults, you must know your audience.”

About the Authors
Elizabeth Fortin-Hinds
Elizabeth Fortin-Hinds knows kids well. She spent decades teaching teens and adults to write and improve their reading skills. As a literacy expert and certified coach, she helped both teachers from elementary to secondary and preservice graduate students learn to improve reading and writing instruction. She has taught at both the secondary and graduate level, everything from rhetoric, essays, and thesis statements, to poetry, short stories, and how to write a novel. She has learned to use both sides of her brain simultaneously, but enjoys the creative side the most, learning to play piano, draw and paint, and find time for her own writing since retiring from her “day” jobs. 
A “true believer” in Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces mythic structures, she uses that lens when considering manuscripts for Tell-Tale Publishing Group, a company she founded with some friends from her critique group a decade ago.

Janet Schrader-Post
Daughter of a Colonel, Janet Schrader-Post lived the military life until she got out of high school. She lived in Hawaii and worked as a polo groom for fifteen years, then moved to Florida where she became a reporter. For ten years she covered kids in high school and middle school. Kids as athletes, kids doing amazing things no matter how hard their circumstances. It impressed her, and it awed her. “How wonderful teens are. They have spirit and courage in the face of the roughest time of their lives. High school is a war zone. Between dodging bullies, school work and after school activities, teens nowadays have a lot on their plate. I wrote stories about them and I photographed them. My goal was to see every kid in their local newspaper before they graduated.”
Janet love kids and horses, and she paints and writes. Now she lives in the swampland of Florida with too many dogs and her fifteen-year-old granddaughter. She started to write young adult fiction with the help of her son, Gabe Thompson, who teaches middle school. Together they have written a number of award-winning YA novels in both science fiction and fantasy.

Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win one of two $25 Amazon gift cards OR one of two hardcover copies of The Young Adult Writer’s Journey by Elizabeth Fortin-Hinds and Janet Schrader-Post.

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