Writing Young Adult Fiction For Dummies
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As you write your manuscript for young adult fiction, edit your work by evaluating characters and plot. Self-editing lets you address story issues even before you ask someone to read your young adult novel. Here are five questions to help you decide whether you still have some character- and plot-shaping to do:

  • Did you force your protagonist out of his comfort zone at crucial moments?

  • Has each obstacle pushed the plot and characters forward?

  • Are the consequences of failure dire enough at each stage of the plot?

  • Does each scene in each chapter contribute to its chapter's overall goal, and does every chapter contribute to the character's achievement of his story goal?

  • If you take your protagonist as he is in the final scene and drop him back into the first scene of the story, has he matured enough to handle the initial conflict so well this time around that your novel wouldn't even be necessary?

If you're confident answering yes to all, you may indeed be at word-tweaking stage and perhaps last draft.

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Deborah Halverson founded the writer's advice website DearEditor.com and was a veteran editor for young adult and children's fiction before picking up a pen and writing the teen novels Big Mouth and Honk If You Hate Me.

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