Masterplots Theater: J is for Journal

Welcome to Masterplots Theater! Today we’re examining Juvenile Journal, which admittedly is a term I just made up so that I have something to write for the letter J. But still, there are many books out there written in a diary format. Perhaps your own teenage scribblings would make a great story… Journal Plot Notes:  …
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The Influence of Books on YAs

Have you heard of The Unslut Project? It began with Emily Linden sharing her middle school diaries online in a Tumblr page. It’s now a memoir and a documentary. Unslut is the all-too-common story of a preteen girl who was slut shamed and bullied. Lindin shared her story to reassure other girls suffering from sexual …
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Accidental Outdated Slang in YA

When it comes to writing for teenagers, the general rule regarding language is this: Don’t use slang in your YA novel. I abide by this rule, yet it’s come to my attention that I may be using slang accidentally! WTF? Let’s back up for a second and state why putting slang in your YA novel …
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Foreshadowing: Tips to Create Mood & Tone

It’s easier to have discussions about foreshadowing techniques when almost everyone knows the story. Since The Fault in Our Stars (TFIOS) was a runaway YA crossover bestseller and a major motion picture, I’m using it for my examples. Fingers crossed I’m not spoiling this story for too many people. Foreshadowing is a technique used to …
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Watch Writers Talk Writing

September is always a busy month for me, and this year is no exception. Today I’m doing a super fast and fun YouTube post. I got the idea from a guest post I did last week for Comparative Geeks. For those of you that don’t know, YouTube is positively bursting with great stuff for writers. …
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Writing Frenemies: Love, Hate, & In-Between

Frenemies are the staple for conflict-packed stories. It’s a relationship dynamic that runs the gambit of emotions. It’s the subtle barbs of a disgruntled coworker. It’s the lingering sad but quietly malevolent vibe of a jilted ex-lover. And it’s the deliberate backstabbing of a fair-weather friend. Frenemies of every kind are particularly popular in teen …
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Y is for Young Adult Fiction

Heather and I both read and write young adult fiction, so we have a solid understanding of this market and what makes it tick. In the last decade, the popularity of YA has hit the stratosphere. Author megastars rise up from nowhere almost overnight. Big movie franchises and huge book deals are becoming normal events. …
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