Writing for Different Age Groups

Young adult readersThe genre lists are basically an oleo of labels, developed organically over the years, meant to be marketing tools, and their primary objective is to give prospective buyers a hint as to the kind of story they are likely to find. But Children’s, Young Adult and to some extent New Adult are meta-classifications based on the age of the reader. As a sub-heading under that, you can list all the usual genres: Children’s Science Fiction, YA Romance, etc. So when writers are choosing their genres, they can’t deal with the age genres the same way as they treat the regular ones. For example, the age guidelines were created for three separate reasons. Continue reading “Writing for Different Age Groups”

Writer Wants Versus Reader Needs

curious readers cows-1029077_640
I want to know more!

We writers are very sneaky people. We lie to our readers constantly, luring them into imaginary situations and manipulating their emotions shamelessly under the pretense that we are entertaining them. And all the while, what we really want to do is preach to the reader about how the world works and how to make it go better. The difference between a good writer and a bad writer is that the good writer doesn’t get caught. Good writers make readers need what we want to tell them. Less experienced writers start their novels only thinking about what the reader needs to know in order to understand. Continue reading “Writer Wants Versus Reader Needs”

How to Develop Your “Author’s Voice” – and How Not to

authors tools wrenchIt is very easy to have your own voice. Basically your voice is anything in your writing style that makes you different from the competition. Some of these qualities are positive, but some are negative. Unfortunately, the negative ones are the easiest, because they tend to look like mistakes. Be careful not to fall into their snare. Continue reading “How to Develop Your “Author’s Voice” – and How Not to”

Authors Want to Know: What Is a Chapter?

the chapter size and length train by gordon longWhen the minions sit around the gruel pot chewing the crunchy bits, sometimes we get going on the esoterica of writing, subjects like, “How long is a chapter?” is it all right to use ‘alright’?” Or, more appropriate, given the food intake in this joint, “How do you spell ‘diorhhea’ ‘dihorhea’ ‘diorhea’… ‘the trots?”

When it comes to the length of a chapter, I think that’s a bit of a red herring. It’s not how long the chapter is; it’s what the chapter is there for. We break our writing into sentences, clauses and phrases for specific reasons, usually to do with conveying meaning. Likewise, we break novels into chapters.

Why? Continue reading “Authors Want to Know: What Is a Chapter?”