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Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  271 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Your hands-on, friendly guide to writing young adult fiction With young adult book sales rising, and bestselling authors like J.K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyer exploding onto the scene, aspiring YA writers are more numerous than ever. Are you interested in writing a young adult novel, but aren't sure how to fit the style that appeals to young readers?

Writing Young Adult Fic
Paperback, 358 pages
Published July 5th 2011 by For Dummies (first published June 1st 2011)
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Carol Riggs
Aug 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing
Excellent resource--not just for Newbies!

I'm glad to have added this book to my collection of writing resources! The book is comprehensive, starting out from setting up a writing workspace all the way to the how-to's of publication. The book is organized into self-contained logical sections so you can browse it like a smorgasbord, choosing what you want, when you need it. There are great details for the beginning writer, but also wonderful reminders, juicy tidbits, and food-for-thought for more
Margo Kelly
Apr 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Well ... I had no intention of reading this book because I hated the title ... but when an editor rejected my manuscript and told me I should read this book, I let out a sigh and conceeded.

It's a very quick and easy read (maybe because it was written for DUMMIES *please note intended sarcasm*). I read it in less than a day, and although I was resistant, I came away from it with about twenty pages flagged.

The author gives basic and easy tips for improving your writing and tackling that tricky to
Luna Erica
Aug 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
"Show, don't tell." It is by far the most important tip I'm keeping close after reading this book.
The book is actually really useful for anyone interested in the skill of writing. Most, if not all, elements of writing YA fiction are discussed and portrayed with examples.
The book is written for adults, yet it is also perfectly applicable to teens like myself. I personally read it because I intend to write a novel myself, but there are also plenty of general writing and scening tips in there for
Mary Ellen
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
I definitely enjoyed this book. It is a great writing guide, and story development guide. It is a good way to get the ball rolling if you don't know where to start. The only thing I didn't care for was that it was a little dated. A lot of young adult fiction has changed since this book was written, which isn't the author's fault but I would love to see her right a new book based on current young adult literature. A lot of the information was geared a little more towards middle grade rather than ...more
Lady Entropy
May 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Not as informative or organized as "Writing Novels For Dummies", it's still full of interesting information, and a must read for people planning on writing YA fiction.

It dedicates WAY too much time (almost a fifth of the book) to promoting book\finding agents\working with editors\sending your submission -- maybe that could be left for "Book Publishing For Dummies"? I would have liked to see more in working the plot, and revising, rather than "general" guidelines.

Still, worth the money.
Jul 18, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a fairly comprehensive book and there is probably a little something for everyone.

It started off with more general stuff about approaching writing that I didn't find particularly useful, although another writer might.

As it got into the nitty-gritty issues of writing, it dealt with both common stuff about writing in general (which I didn't really need) but also about specifics on writing in a novel format, which I didn't necessarily have already.

The latter section is on publishing, dif
Elissa Matthews
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Surprisingly, a very good reference and reminder of all the aspects to keep track of in writing and publishing a creative work. Comprehensive, if abbreviated coverage, checklists and reminders, pointers to areas where deeper insight is beyond the scope of the book. Instructions and recipes for approaching problems without diving into techniques for solving them.
Jul 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Informative. I appreciate how easy to read it is. This is a book with helpful breakdowns of what to do and look out for when writing YA Fiction.
Franky Seale
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great resource
Jun 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-s-reads
Highly recommend this book for anything be looking to write Middle Grade or Young Adult fiction. The book is filled with a lot of valuable information.
Pop Korn
Nov 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is interesting because is funny
Feb 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Really great tips in here on publishing and revising a manuscript
I don't write reviews for dummies books, but this was an excellent book on writing for YA. Great book to keep near you for reference. While I recommend reading more books to learn more about writing, this is a great start.
David Roberts
Jan 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The book I read to research this post was Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies by Deborah Halversen which is an excellent book which I bought from kindle. There are 2 major types of young adult fiction, there is tween or middle grade aimed at 12 or under and teen or young adult fiction aimed at 12-17 year olds. Many adults read young adult fiction particularly the fantasy and science fiction types as it reminds them of happy times. Fantasy and science fiction are probably the 2 most popular t ...more
Jul 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
I'm writing my first young adult fiction book, and this book answered all my basic questions like how to write for various age groups literacy level, what kids like to read, how many pages, can I refer to drugs or sex, what boys read, and so on.

It's written in according to the "dummies" formula. I got the small format Nook version and found it unpleasant because it was not easy to skim parts that I didn't need to read and find parts that were relevant. I'd recommend getting a hard copy of this o
Christie Speich
Jun 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
I was pleasantly surprised at how well this book covered "writing for teens" vs just writing. It doesn't fall into the category of "the ONLY book on writing you'll ever need!" (but really, does any book?) which is fine with me, because what I was really looking for were things like writing believable teenage dialogue, believable teenage characters, etc. This book delivers on those kinds of topics, just as the title promises.
Barbulescu Diana
Sep 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It was a very good book that covers everything from plot to characters and dialogue, to publishing and all, a book that emphasizes what young adult fiction is and how it is different from other genres of fiction. I recommend it to all those that want to write YA. If there is one guide book to read before starting your piece, it's this one.
Zara Hoffman
Mar 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A great easy to understand guide that walks you through every step of the writing process from a first draft, to revision, to submissions and conferences (and much more). I highly recommend this book.
Jun 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It's a must read for young adult authors. I was wary of the "For Dummies" label, but Deborah Halverson delivers a writing guide that is applause-worthy for both its breadth and depth. From an author's first word to publication, Halverson covers in detail what quality teen fiction looks like.
Jan 23, 2016 marked it as didn-t-finish
I started this in hopes of getting possible ideas for my final Masters paper next year. I got halfway through. It was hard to take the advice seriously because the examples were pretty poorly written.
Sep 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Deborah will be appearing at the SDCL Book Fest Oct 1, 2011. Very hwlpful book for anyone interested in writing for the Teen market.
May 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A must have for anyone writing YA fiction.
Catrina Barton
Jun 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Absolute enlightening book for people who like me want to break into the YA market!
Jen Halligan
Aug 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a great reference book! I borrowed this from the library but I'll be buying a copy.
Mar 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this book to anyone that is interested in writing young adult fiction. Deborah is an expert in her field and her insight is invaluable.
Paul Teague
Nov 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Really useful book, packed with lots of good info.

Some really great, practical publishing advice saved until the end too.
Apr 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: writing-advice
This book is so chop full of advice. It is a great resource. Highly recommend it.
Alec John
Jul 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is absolutely amazing. It's really helped improve my writing.
Dec 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing
Tons of good information in here for every level of writer.
Royce Ratterman
Mar 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Overall, a good book for the researcher and enthusiast.
Read for personal research
- found this book's contents helpful and inspiring - number rating relates to the book's contribution to my needs.
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Deborah Halverson is the award-winning author of Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies and the forthcoming Writing the New Adult Novel: How to Write & Sell New Adult Fiction, as well as the founder of the popular writers’ advice website Deborah edited young adult and children’s fiction with Harcourt Children’s Books before picking up a pen to write the teen novels Honk If You Hat ...more

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