Find his author website here. Sure, setting and description are both important but they can be woven into the story.
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Guest Column August 7, OK, class. What sets a middle-grade novel apart from a young adult novel? If you said MG is for readers ages 8—12, and YA is for readers ages 13—18, then give yourself a check plus.
Sadly, by not understanding what makes a book a middle grade writing advice MG or a solid YA, these writers have hamstrung their chances for success, regardless of how well written their stories may be. On the bright side, writers who study up on the many key differences between MG and YA will be able to craft the kind of well-targeted manuscript that will make both agents and editors take notice.
Pay attention, because someday your manuscript will be tested. This guest post is by Marie Lamba marielamba. Mg At A Glance Age of readers: Generally 30,—50, words although fantasy can run longer to allow for more complex world-building.
No profanity, graphic violence or sexuality romance, if any, is limited to a crush or a first kiss. Typically age 10 for a younger MG novel, and up to age 13 for older, more complex books.
Profanity, graphic violence, romance and sexuality except for eroticism are all allowable though not required. Ages 14—15 for a younger YA with cleaner content aimed at the middle-school crowd; for older and more edgy YA, characters can be up to 18 but not in college.
YA heroes discover how they fit in the world beyond their friends and family; they spend more time reflecting on what happens and analyzing the meaning of things. YA Readers Middle-grade is not synonymous with middle school.
Books for the middle-school audience tend to be divided between the MG and YA shelves. So which shelf do those readers go to? Writing a sweeter, more innocent YA? Instead, just stick to calling it either MG or YA when you submit, and let an interested agent draw conclusions about nuances from there.
Same goes for the way they speak and the way they view the world.
There are gatekeepers between your book and your targeted audience. To get a book, kids first go through a parent, a teacher or a librarian.
While you might want to have that gritty character in your upper-MG novel drop a few four-letter words, doing so will hurt book sales, so choose your language wisely.
Also, think carefully about your content. MG is not the place for graphic or persistent violence, but can it be scary and dark?
Sure—look at Holes by Louis Sachar, where boys are threatened by a crazy warden and nearly killed by poisonous lizards. Note, however, that book does have a happy ending. And do remember that school and library support can really catapult a YA title to success. Exceptions to Every Rule Like any rebellious teen can tell you, rules are made to be broken.
Word counts often vary from the suggested norms.Twelve Assignments Every Middle School Student Should Write is a revision and expansion of Gary’s earlier book, Middle School Writing Projects: Ideas for Writing Across the Curriculum.
With this book, Gary has offered a roadmap for both using writing and teaching. I tackled my first middle-grade novel a couple years ago (now with an agent). The first thing I learned is that I love writing for that age group and am even considering chapter books. Now, a long time ago, before I wrote both Middle Grade and Young Adult books, I might have given myself some very bad advice indeed.
“Start writing and see where the story takes you!” I might have said. Novelist Peter Lerangis shared middle grade writing advice in front of hundreds of authors at the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators conference in Los Angeles earlier this month. Now, here are some tips and tricks for plotting and writing your novel.
Writing the Middle Grade Novel: From Start to Finish - Part Three Here are a few tips to help you FINISH your manuscript. Middle grade author Edith Cohn gives advice for young writers and talks about books, the power of great teachers, and encouraging young readers and writers.