What Makes a Good YA Novel?

Melissa Pearl with Students at St. Kents
Melissa Pearl with Students at St. Kents

In no way would I consider myself an expert on writing. However, I have been studying and practicing the craft for well over a decade and my fifth book is about to be released in November, so I do feel slightly entitled to share the knowledge I have gleaned so far.

I was asked to write this post on what makes a good young adult novel. I have come up with a few suggestions of what I think are some of the necessary elements needed in a book written specifically for this audience.

First, and foremost, like with any good novel, you need a well-constructed story filled with diverse characters the reader can relate to.

Once you have this foundation, you may then need to think about what makes a story more YA than other books. Continue reading “What Makes a Good YA Novel?”

Ed’s Casual Friday. Book v. Movie, Steel-Cage Death Match

This is another in an ongoing series of Ed’s Casual Friday posts wherein I cogitate about a topic and offer some opinion, along with what is going to sound like advice. Let me first fully acknowledge that I subscribe to the “Different Strokes” school of literary advice, inasmuch as “What might be right for you, may not be right for some.” So just keep that in mind before you feel the need to tell me that I’m full of dookie, Willis. 😉

Our topic today, Is the Book Always Better than the Movie? To which I respond, that’s like asking if the peanut butter sandwich is always better than the sonnet, as I believe they are two totally different forms to such an extent that the question is largely meaningless. Continue reading “Ed’s Casual Friday. Book v. Movie, Steel-Cage Death Match”

Hollywood Dreaming by R.J. Smith

Screenwriter R. J. Smith

Stephen Hise has been after me for over a year now to pen a guest post and he’s finally gotten his way. Not because of some poetically driven hyperbole that I might telepathically transport to the keyboard; but simply because I’ve travelled the yellow brick road to Hollywood and found the gates are securely locked.

I know, I know. I’m supposed to cage my juvenile urge to crash the golden gates and bang on the door of Paramount and SCREAM, “I’m a talented screenwriter, let me in!”

LA will have none of it. They’ll dispatch the Los Angeles Police to drag my pee’s and q’s from the gates and throw me into the back of the literary bus.

No, dear reader, I haven’t been assaulted by the LA County Sheriff’s Office, not yet.

I do, however, have much to impart to those of you who are thinking of laying down your indie pens and taking a swipe at screenwriting gold, or nightmares, depending on how many Xanax you can get your hands on. Continue reading “Hollywood Dreaming by R.J. Smith