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Wild Ink: How to Write Fiction for Young Adults

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  • Posted November 7, 2008

    A book for "young people"

    Writer Victoria Hanley lives in Loveland with her husband and family. Hanley¿s three fantasy novels for teens (The Light of the Oracle, The Healer¿s Keep and The Seer and the Sword) have been published in 19 countries. <BR/>The Wild Ink: How to Write Fiction for Young Adults is the first one I read. In scanning the book when it first arrived in my mailbox, it became clear to me that it would be a valuable tool for anyone writing fiction (and maybe other genre too).<BR/><BR/>The book states that her definition of a young person is ¿a person of any age who wants to do and will do new things, things with unknown outcomes.¿ She feels an old person is ¿a person of any age who doesn¿t want to do new things, but wants to know the outcome in advance.¿<BR/><BR/>Assuming I am still a young person, I delved into the pages of Wild Ink. The introduction makes it clear that Hanley has not written a book about writing techniques or how to construct a plot or work with dialogue. The book contains helpful advice, writing exercises and lots of interviews where others share their insights with the reader.<BR/><BR/>Hanley addresses obstacles encountered not only but writers of teen books but probably most writers. First is the lack of time. She points out how one usable page yields 365 pages in a year. One hundred words, which is a couple of paragraphs, will result in a 75,000 word book in about two years. <BR/><BR/>The second obstacle mentioned is the ¿r-word¿ ¿rejection. This part of the book points out some very famous authors, such as J.K. Rowling, and how many times they received rejection notices. The interview sections of the book show how common this practice really is.<BR/><BR/>Next is doubt and fear. The author sprinkles in one of her personal experiences to help would-be writers face their misgivings about writing a book.<BR/><BR/>She also addresses the topic of ¿waiting for inspiration.¿ Her view of how writing is that like physical exercise it gets easier if done regularly. Hanley says, ¿Some days it goes quite easily. Some days it¿s a big pain.¿<BR/><BR/>Victoria gives the reader a chapter on resources. She lists books which would be helpful to those aspiring to be a writer. I was pleased to see On Writing by Stephen King listed since I am currently reading it to enhance my writing education.<BR/>Writing classes, conferences, professional organizations, critique groups and having a writing buddy are all covered in Wild Ink. Writers can read Victoria¿s perspective and see what might work for them.<BR/><BR/>If someone wants to get his or her book published, the chapter on submitting a manuscript should be of value. Hanley gives insight on working with agents, submitting query letters, meeting with an agent and tips on writing a synopsis.<BR/>Hanley willingly shares her expertise in the area of getting your book published. Topics include contracts and money, editing and copyediting, cover design and large press publishers vs. small presses publishers. <BR/><BR/>A good portion of the 235 page book contains interview questions and answers. If you ever wanted to ask a question of an agent, editor, a successful published author, it may be covered here.<BR/>This book is an easy and enjoyable read. You will feel like the author is sitting across from you sharing her personal stories, both ups and downs, of her successful career. Every ¿young person¿ should read it.

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    Posted February 20, 2010

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    Posted December 30, 2010

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