The Venn Diagram Stage of Writing

by Elisabeth Sharp McKetta I’ve long had good luck dividing writing into distinct stages and forcing them not to mingle: first there is the brainstorm stage (usually takes place on hikes or in the shower, but occasionally in the middle of the night when I wake to feed the baby). […]

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Building with Blocks

Making a Scene: A Practical Planning Method for Your Story’s Building Blocks

When I stumbled through my first manuscript eleven years ago, I didn’t know much about scenes. I didn’t know much about writing a book, come to think of it, but the best way to learn is to just do it. (And, of course, read up on the subject at places […]

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Teens by Car takingPhoto

Driving your Young Adult Novel’s Plot

This month I’m going to talk about craft–specifically, structuring the plot of your YA novel.  Often when I’m instructing writing classes, I find  that there’s some confusion about plotting.  If I ask “What’s your book’s plot?” I get vague answers along the lines of “It’s about a girl who just […]

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Teenage Girl

Young Adult Fiction and Writing “The End”

There’s nothing more satisfying–and more challenging–than writing the final chapter of your young adult novel, particularly if that novel is the final one in an ongoing series.  More than likely, you’ve been imagining those final scenes in your head for a long time, working your way toward them, making sure […]

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Dear Young Adult Author…

To follow up on last month’s post, I checked in with a wide range of middle-school- and high-school-age readers and asked them to speak directly to YA authors. I wanted to hear what they particularly love–and hate–in the YA novels they read.  For the record, I decided to include some […]

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