27

I think it may be solved using the same term consistently. From what you wrote: "the man", "his older counterpart", "his future self", "his older self", "Older Adrien", and "his other self". Those are a lot of synonyms. While they are correct and they do convey the idea, a reader is going to be pulled out if you change "the name" of a character every ...


22

You may have story problems, too. As Mark says (I have to say that a lot) she needs to want something, bad. You say she is "quite determined" but mousy: She can be usually mousy, but when it comes to taking a direction that does not lead to what she wants, she needs to show some steel. Bravery. A willingness to go it alone. A willingness to defy others. A ...


19

Young adult generally is written in first person for the strong voice and the closeness of the POV. It has almost become industry standard, likely because it sells well for the target market. You can read articles and blogs expounding on the virtues of the viewpoint for the age. My guess is that, for the precise reason that it is monopolistically popular, we'...


17

You don't build a character around a psychological profile. The primary driver of character is desire. Do you know what this character wants? Do you know why they want that thing enough to overcome their shyness to strive for it? No one comes out of their shell except under the compulsion of desire. Create the occasion of desire and you will have your ...


14

Pick a name and go with it. If the fact of the new character being future Adrien isn't a secret from the reader, you don't have to worry about names that spoil the surprise. Use whatever name Adrien himself will use. He's not going to refer internally to his future self by his own name or by something long. He'll pick a name pretty quickly, because his ...


13

Your trouble in finding a word is that it does not exist. You will need to use adjectives and other descriptions to properly describe it. My first piece of advice would be to find a good example of what you want and describe it. You've found a good example with batman, but you're obviously having trouble describing it, so here's what I'd do: Step 1- ...


12

My sense (as a reader, not someone who's published a YA novel) is that you kind of want to liken it to a PG-13 movie. If it's too graphic for a 13-year-old to be watching in a movie theatre, it's probably too graphic to be published in the YA category. However: 1) as John Smithers points out, that doesn't mean your protagonist can't still be a teenager. ...


11

The interest, I think, will be in the context around the game: What's at stake for her? What makes this game so important to her? What makes it so important now? Who is her opponent? What's at stake for her opponent? What makes this game so important to him? What is their relationship? How is their relationship changing? What are they doing or talking about ...


11

Think about people who may use a screenreader (or like audiobooks) E-Books are very important and a lot of books are sold as hard-copies and as e-books alike. This allows people with a disability to "read" books, for example by using a screenreader. (That's also why it's important on sites like StackExchange to always provide a useful image description ...


10

I would be careful about being too specific with slang for teenagers. There are huge regional variations, and what may sound natural to teen readers in one region (or even part of town!) could sound unnatural and jarring to readers from not that far away. You also have to make sure you aren't 'dating' your story, as slang changes fairly quickly over time. ...


9

Putting scientific definition aside, "Flower head" works better since it's a personification. The human reader has no trouble associating the upper part of a body with the upper part of a flower. On the contrary, "a flower's heart" is a little harder to imagine. Without further context, I would struggle to understand what you mean, exspecially since I'm ...


9

If it were me, I would pick a name with a common, well-known nickname, and then call the younger version exclusively by the nickname, and the older version by the full name --for instance, "Andy" and "Andrew." Andy was starting to think he didn't like "Andrew" very much. Apparently, as he got older, he was going to turn into an even meaner version of his ...


8

This answer is highly, highly subjective. But I personally dislike almost every YA dystopian future novel I've ever read (they're all the same thing to me and they're all predictable), so I think if you're asking about reader expectations, I might be a good person to answer the question... mostly because I see similarities in all of the YA novels I've ...


8

I'm 18- so although I feel qualified to give an answer; thats a very broad question, and it can be a daunting task for any writer. Even though sometimes I reflect on a conversation I've had with my friends, and stand back and realise how it would be total nonsense to one of my parents- there are countless niches of slang for teens, all over the English ...


8

I think there is a huge difference between an illustrated novel and a graphic novel. An illustrated novel is a novel that can stand on its own but to which the publisher of a particular edition has chosen to add pictures. There are various editions of Lord of the Rings, for instance, both illustrated and not illustrated. A graphic novel, on the other hand, ...


8

I doubt it is specific to romance. It seems to be everywhere. I keep finding books that have no reason to be in first person (and in some cases every reason not to be) which are in first person nonetheless. In part it may just be a fad. It's a bit like the way people wore blue jeans when I was growing up. They did it to be different. All of them. I wanna ...


8

The Magic 2.0 series by Scott Meyer has this situation with a core character (so it's not a passing situation). The narrator and the characters identify the two as Brit the Elder and Brit the Younger. When more time-travel shenanigans happen, we also encounter Brit the Even Elder and Brit the Much Younger, which doesn't seem sustainable but these are ...


7

Both scenarios have lots of potential for great storytelling. When choosing between them, consider what kind of story you'd most like to tell, and which of the two is going in a direction you find more interesting/compelling. Let me throw some light on the primary differences between the two avenues you're suggesting. Conspiracy If the drug is a secret, ...


7

I think it's important to figure out why you were bored by the mining community setting. Is it because the character made too much of the details without giving the reader a sense of why they were important? For example, if the reader is following the character through a day in the mines, are the details important because we don't know if at any moment the ...


7

I'm going to spin this around for you. In Jeffrey Schechter's My Story Can Beat Up Your Story, Schechter suggests that a lot of theme is about the protagonist asking a thematic question, e.g., "Should I settle for less romantically?" "Can I balance 'ordinary' responsibilities with my secret identity?" "How do I decide who to trust?" And in ...


7

There are no clear-cut distinctions. Children are different. One child might be reading at 6 what another wouldn't touch until 12. For example, King Matt the First is explicitly written for children (under 8). It deals with themes like death, war, responsibility, and it doesn't have a happy ending. I grabbed it off the top shelf in my room when I was 6, and ...


7

It is absolutely certainly legal for what you describe to appear in literature. Consider, for instance, that Juliet was 14 when she married and had sex with Romeo. A more modern example: Song of Ice and Fire; Daenerys is 13 when she is married off to Khal Drogo, with their sex receiving multiple descriptions. For a milder example, similar to what you ...


7

Aged 10-12, my understanding of sex was "that's how you make children". It didn't sound like fun, so my understanding of why people would do it, other than to make children, was rather in the "adults are weird" realm. (Adults were also weird in other ways: they drank bitter coffee, and sour wine, and smoked stinky cigarettes, and it's not like any of those ...


7

The marketing environment for books has become immensely more complicated and crowded than it was in the past. Partly due to the ongoing information explosion (which lets you and discuss this at all), marketing is increasingly "siloed", or targeted, because the sheer number of offers is now too much for a human to process in full, you need the tech that ...


7

Young adult vs adult fiction isn't about the age of the characters (though that usually does vary too), it's about the age of your readers. If you're writing for adults, then write for adults and pitch your work that way to publishers, agents, and potential customers. If you use a traditional publisher, they might want to classify your book as young adult, ...


7

A few alternatives: She dived into the flower. She dived into the zinnia's flower. She dived into the petals. She dived into the zinnia's center. Or, simply: She dived into the pollen. Add the rolling in pollen parts if needed. I realize you want to differentiate between zinnia the plant and the actual flower. You don't want your ...


6

Which end do readers expect? Either of the ones you given. Some will expect one, others the other That's why you should choose neither. You have two obvious options, plus a dull 'no choice made'. That's one point where the difference between a common book and an excellent one is made. This is where the protagonist should not just decide or fail to make a ...


6

One of the things that first came to mind on this is to address it the same as any research you would do for any other novel. If you write a book about a French character, you may have to look up certain phrases in French. If you want to feature a younger character, do some research to get a sense of how they speak, as well as their mannerisms. One way to ...


6

This isn't a general rule, but perhaps one that might be useful to you. Teachers, like myself, don't really want swearing or explicit sexual references in the texts we teach. Reading them out loud can cause problems even if the language is realistic. (A novel becoming a common school text will mean greater revenue than just appealing to casual YA readers.) ...


6

It's somewhat of a misconception, and a crossing of borders in audience as well. Those you've listed all fall into the bounds of Young Adult books - the target audience are teenagers and/or casual readers. The only possible exception are the latter Harry Potter books (but that is by deliberate design). All these stories are 'coming of age' stories, and are ...


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