Writing Irresistible Kidlit: The Ultimate Guide to Crafting Fiction for Young Adult and Middle Grade Readers

Writing Irresistible Kidlit: The Ultimate Guide to Crafting Fiction for Young Adult and Middle Grade Readers

by Mary Kole


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Captivate the hearts and minds of young adult readers!

Writing for young adult (YA) and middle grade (MG) audiences isn't just "kid's stuff" anymore--it's kidlit! The YA and MG book markets are healthier and more robust than ever, and that means the competition is fiercer, too. In Writing Irresistible Kidlit, literary agent Mary Kole shares her expertise on writing novels for young adult and middle grade readers and teaches you how to:

  • Recognize the differences between middle grade and young adult audiences and how it impacts your writing.
  • Tailor your manuscript's tone, length, and content to your readership.
  • Avoid common mistakes and cliches that are prevalent in YA and MG fiction, in respect to characters, story ideas, plot structure and more.
  • Develop themes and ideas in your novel that will strike emotional chords.

Mary Kole's candid commentary and insightful observations, as well as a collection of book excerpts and personal insights from bestselling authors and editors who specialize in the children's book market, are invaluable tools for your kidlit career.

If you want the skills, techniques, and know-how you need to craft memorable stories for teens and tweens, Writing Irresistible Kidlit can give them to you.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781599635767
Publisher: F+W Media
Publication date: 12/04/2012
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 452,152
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Mary Kole has worked at Chronicle Books, the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, and now spends her days as a Senior Literary Manager at Movable Type. She holds her MFA in creative writing from the University of San Francisco, which is where she cemented her love of learning and teaching the crafts of writing and storytelling. Mary blogs at Kidlit.com, named one of the "101 Best Websites for Writers" by Writer's Digest Magazine for three years running, and lives--and explores the vibrant food scene!--in Brooklyn.

Table of Contents

Foreward xv

Chapter 1 Kidlit Market Overview 1

Your Readers 2

Kidlit Then 3

…and Kidlit Now 4

Blockbuster Thinking 5

The Popularity of Series 6

Changes and Opportunities 6

Choosing an Audience 7

The Middle Grade Marketplace 8

The Young Adult Marketplace 12

Understanding Your Reader 15

Chapter 2 The MG and YA Mindset 16

Inside The Mind of Your Middle Grade Reader 16

Inside The Mind of Your Young Adult Reader 20

Chapter 3 What's the Big Idea? 27

Originality and New Ideas 28

Defining Commercial Novels 29

Loglines from the Shelves 32

How I've been Baited 36

Thinking Big 36

Chapter 4 Storytelling Foundations 40

Starting a Story 40

Balancing Action and Information 49

Tense and POV 62

Chapter 5 Character 73

The Hero's Journey and Introducing a Character 73

Make Me Care: Character Objective and Conflict 89

Sidekicks and Villains and Everyone in Between 113

Chapters, Scenes, and Beats 130

Character Growth and Change 143

Chapter 6 Plot 153

A Lesson in Plot Structure 153

Developing Stakes and Tension 167

Using Backstory and Withholding 179

Subplots and the Muddy Middle 188

The Climax and Ending 196

Chapter 7 Advanced Kidlit 202

Imagery and Setting 202

Word Choice and Voice 218

Theme, Big Ideas, and Big Questions 229

Authority and Authenticity 239

Chapter 8 A Career in Kidlit 249

Getting a Literary Agent 249

Querying and Submitting Your Work 261

Chapter 9 Conclusion 273

Index 280

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Writing Irresistible Kidlit: The Ultimate Guide to Crafting Fiction for Young Adult and Middle Grade Readers 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
sprunty More than 1 year ago
Ms. Kole does a fantastic job going through all the areas to consider when writing a YA or MG novel. Each chapter will have you diving deeper into your work in progress and asking yourself tough questions about characters, plot, and motivation. Ms. Kole gives great examples by using current books in the Kidlit market. It is a great resource for editing a draft. I’ve only read once so far and know I will be reading it again several times. I can't recommend this book enough. It's comparable to other writing books such as Donald Maass' Writing the Breakout Novel and Blake Snyder's Save the Cat.