Archive for April, 2012

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Teen Reads

April 26, 2012

Call me crazy, but I’ve never been a spring fan. Jump me straight to summer any day. However, this winter was hard, and I can’t say I’m sad to see it moving into the distant past. In order to help survive, I spent many of the long nights writing a dark, young-adult novel.

Why do teens gravitate to the dark and mysterious? The answer’s not simple, and a few factors are at play.

First, a teen is no longer a child and yet, not quite an adult (although they’d no doubt disagree with the latter). This defines unsettled identity. Where do they belong? Teen readers can tap into different characters to help them sort their own lives. Second, teens need avenues to process confusion in their own lives. They often feel alone and isolated, when in fact, many of them are being met with similar challenges. When a reader can connect with a character, it can help them feel less alone. Teens also are met with pain that can no longer be fixed by a kiss and a Band-Aid. Their emotions rage and their problems can feel unbearably intense. A book that has even darker content than their own lives makes them feel not so awful. Finally, teens may just like to escape into the dark for the sheer adventure of it. Why not?

Perhaps I wrote the novel for some of the same reasons teens will read it. At any rate, I’m ready to move on and find a new adventure. Thank goodness for spring!

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What’s to a Title?

April 17, 2012

Not long ago, I posted a few of the best-selling books of all time. Did you notice anything unique about their titles? One must remember not to judge a book by its cover, but a title is important.

Titles are the first clue to your book. They are the first words the reader will see. Make them worth it.

 

It’s important for an author to create a title that captures attention and reflects their book in some way. A one-word wonder, like TWILIGHT or SHIVER, can deliver a powerful punch. On the other hand, longer titles can offer intrigue and reflect the mood of the book. For example, one might guess that ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS, is not about a zombie serial killer. A title should provide insight to your book, while either playing on words or offering a catchy, marketable first impression.

 

Make a list of both one-word titles, three-word titles, and finally, a longer version for your book. Narrow the list to your top five and poll your friends. In the end, follow your instincts and name your baby well!

 

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Quotes

April 8, 2012

“The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

Stories are living and dynamic. Stories exist to be exchanged. They are the currency of Human Growth. –Jean Houston

One of the really bad things you can do to your writing is to dress up the vocabulary, looking for long words because you’re maybe a little bit ashamed of your short ones. -Stephen King