Writing for Middle-Grade and Young Adult Readers

In this collection of lectures, Dave talks about special problems in writing for the younger audiences and the strategies you can use to turn your story ideas into bestselling novels.

  • Lesson 1: When writing for young readers, you are really writing for two different audiences: the kids and the adult gatekeepers the book has to get through to reach your real target—the young reader.

  • Lesson 2: Understanding limitations. With books for young readers, your vocabulary and sentence structure tend to be restricted. Middle grade books in particular must be very clean. Any kind of sexual content is considered taboo and violence is touchy. Young adult on the other hand is open to nearly every subject matter, as long as it’s handled carefully.

  • Lesson 3: As we age, our taste in literature changes. Use the correct emotional beats to appeal to your target audience. Dave goes through each age, both male and female, and talks about what kind of emotional draws they seek.

  • Lesson 4: Editors/Agents/and Self-Publishing. Be careful with which editors you approach and how you approach them. Think twice about self-publishing, because traditional publishing makes it easier for young readers to get their hands on your book.

  • Lesson 5: How big should your book be. Dave talks about how long a middle grade or young adult novel should be and explains why book stores don’t want really long books.

  • Lesson 6: Dave recaps on the important points of this seminar.