May 8, 2012


I'm delighted with today's guest!

Victoria Hanley is the author of several books, one of which caught my attention and hasn't let go -- Seize the Story -- A Handbook for Teens Who Like to Write. 

This is one of the best book for young writers I've ever read.  Some of the tantalizing chapters are:  "Freeing Your Imagination," "The Heart of a Writer" and "Plotting and Scheming."  The book also includes informative, inspiring interviews with authors of young adult fiction, such as David Lubar, Nancy Garden, Joan Bauer, etc.

Isn't the cover fabulous?

After reading this book, I knew I had to invite Victoria Hanley to visit the blog. 

She generously agreed. 

The very talented Victoria Hanley

The new edition of her book, Wild Ink:  Success Secrets to Writing and Publishing in the Young Adult Market, was released May 1, 2012. 

Victoria is sharing a sample chapter, along with  interviews with MT Anderson, Chris Crutcher, Lauren Myracle, and Amy Kathleen Ryan.  Wild About Words blog readers can enjoy this fascinating pdf file by clicking here

In addition, Victoria also shares ten tips for writers:

       Top Ten Tips for Young Adult Novelists
                                      By Victoria Hanley

1.  Write what calls to you. Open up to what’s most original about you. In the YA genre, a fresh voice is high on the list of what agents and editors are seeking.

2.  Add passion. The teen years are a time of exploration and honesty, of new independence, rebellion, and heartache. Tap your own inner teen to help you create authentic characters who have real feelings.

3.  Bring on the conflict. Without tension, your book will be like a balloon with no air. Put pressure on your characters—and don’t let the adults resolve things.

4.  Get into growth. In YA, whether you’re writing realistic contemporary or dystopian fiction, romance, sci-fi, fantasy,  horror, or some other subgenre, make coming-of-age a part of your plot.

5.  Pick a powerful point of view. First person? Third person? Second? Get close to your characters to discover which point of view will showcase your story best.

6.  Get through that sucky first draft.  Allow your first draft to be messy and jumbled. You can always tighten and polish later. Just write it out!

7.  Read. Seriously, read, read, read everything you can in the YA genre.

8.  Polish your pages. YA is highly competitive. For your final draft, don’t settle for “good enough.” Aim for outstanding!

9.  Study up. Pay attention to industry standards, including submission guidelines and correct manuscript format. Learn how to write a synopsis and a query letter.

10.  Get 'er done. Write at least an hour a day. Join a critique group. Take a class. Don’t be surprised if you hit the wall at some point, because writing YA can get emotional. But keep going, find the doorway, and finish your book!

Thank you, Victoria Hanley, for sharing your wisdom and the sample chapter and interviews from your new release!  We wish you continued success with your excellent books!


Jen Swanson said...

Thanks for sharing this, Donna. I'm going to get it for my 16-year-old. She types away all weekend on her novel. (Naturally, I'm not allowed to read it...) :) This book sounds AWESOME!

Wild About Words said...

Thanks, Jen! Yes, Victoria Hanley is a master at inspiring and educating writers. So, so glad she was able to visit the blog and share her wisdom with us!

Augusta Scattergood said...

You could substitute most any genre for YA on that list. Universal writing truths- at least most of them.
Now I'm off to click on the PDF. Thanks for this!

Wild About Words said...

Thank you, Augusta!

Dean K Miller said...

Thanks for the info! I've got a friend who's daughter loves to write. I'll get them the book.

I'm on #7 on my adult novel, then plan on tackling a YA next. I'll be referencing Ms. Hanley's tips and resources.

Wild About Words said...


Thanks for stopping by the blog.

Best of luck with your writing!