Wednesday, January 23, 2019
A Young Adult Writer's Journey by Elizabeth Fortin-Hinds and Janet Schrader-Post - Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway
by Elizabeth Fortin-Hinds & Janet Schrader-Post
Finally, an all-inclusive book on young adult fiction must-do, don’t do and how-to. If you want to write a young adult novel, you need to read this book first. Coauthored by an award-winning YA author and an acquisitions editor, both experts on kids and what they like to read, this encyclopedia contains all you need to start or improve a career as a YA fiction author.
From an examination of the market, genre and its sub-genres, to mechanics and the business, everything is at your fingertips. This amazing writer’s resource is written in a relaxed and interesting style, with plenty of contemporary references and examples for clear understanding and easier application.
Joseph Campbell was a professor of literature at Sarah Lawrence College, where he worked in comparative mythology and religious studies. He was strongly influenced by Carl Jung's view of myth. In his 1949 work The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Campbell described the basic mythic structure as follows:
A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered, and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man. (Campbell, Joseph (1949). The Hero with a Thousand Faces.
Princeton: Princeton University Press. p. 23.)
His iconic classic deconstructs universal story patterns. In his study of the myth of the hero, Campbell posits the existence of a Monomyth (a word he borrowed from James Joyce), a universal pattern, structure, found in heroic tales in every culture. While outlining the basic stages of this mythic cycle, he also explores common variations in the hero’s journey, which, he argues, is an operative metaphor, not only for an individual, but for a culture as well. Although the stories may vary to suit the needs and beliefs of a specific culture, the underlying universal archetypes remain.
Christopher Vogler used this hero’s journey to write, The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers. He simplified Campbell’s 17 steps into 12, handy in today’s 12-step minded society. What he did that was fantastic is make it more accessible for modern writers, who are not always scholars. There are several similar editions, including one for screenwriters. Women like Maureen Murdock have written books specifically about The Heroine’s Journey. Although the steps may vary, the universal pattern, used in a novel or screenplay, creates a story with themes that resonate across cultures. It is so powerful, creating hit after hit, that it was required reading for Disney executives, a company that knows the importance of creating a hero’s journey to appeal to mass audiences. Using this pattern to construct books in Young Adult novels provides the reader with a satisfying experience.
To illustrate the hero’s journey, it’s easier to understand in the context of a classic young adult book/movie, such as Harry Potter, already used to illustrate points throughout this book. It will be broken down for you according to the different stages in The Hero’s Journey, with particular attention to how the journey relates to a YA hero/heroine, the focus of this entire book. Following are some things you need to think of before you sit down to write your first scene.
Why I Wrote a YA Reference Book
The decision to write this book sprang from a gradual realization that the ways in which YA submissions were continually missing the mark were similar, and an examination of the market that revealed there really wasn’t anything like it available.
I wanted to provide a promising YA author with some help in better understanding the YA audience she was writing for. That would basically require her to recognize the many different types of individuals who exist within any given middle or high school building. She needed to appreciate that diversity and learn to apply it to the teens who peopled her YA novel. This would necessitate a change of motivation and goal, which would mean a revision of the plot and world building, but they weren’t what was “wrong” or didn’t hit the mark, they were the result of that, the result of lacking realistic, believable and true YA characters.
This also meant there could be no more giving characters teen ages and calling them teens, while they still either acted and spoke as though an adult were trying to act like a kid, or as though they needed to learn some moral lesson the adult felt they needed. Either of which resulted in a book that missed the mark for both the teenage audience it was targeting and the millennials who also love to read YA and New Adult novels.
I truly believe that The Hero’s Journey is a must for most teenage fiction or any genre. I also believe coming-of-age novels never go out of style because everyone, no matter what their age, is constantly aging and reinventing what it means to be ‘that’ new age, so no one ever forgets what it’s like. Also, if the main characters don’t grow, learn and mature internally, it’s just not going to be a very fulfilling book for its reader. The Hero/Heroine needs to go on that adventurous journey.
THE YOUNG ADULT WRITER’S JOURNEY that I wrote with one of our best YA authors, Janet Schrader-Post, contains all the above criteria and much more. It’s a book we wished had been available when we just started out as fiction writers, written in a way we felt would be most accessible and interesting. The hardcover will be available on Black Friday (Nov. 23), just in time for holiday giving…even if that well-deserved gift is for you. Thanks for visiting with us today!
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Daughter of a Colonel, Janet Schrader-Postlived the military life until she got out of high school. She lived in Hawaii and worked as a polo groom for fifteen years, then moved to Florida where she became a reporter. For ten years she covered kids in high school and middle school. Kids as athletes, kids doing amazing things no matter how hard their circumstances. It impressed her, and it awed her. “How wonderful teens are. They have spirit and courage in the face of the roughest time of their lives. High school is a war zone. Between dodging bullies, school work and after school activities, teens nowadays have a lot on their plate. I wrote stories about them and I photographed them. My goal was to see every kid in their local newspaper before they graduated.”
Janet love kids and horses, and she paints and writes. Now she lives in the swampland of Florida with too many dogs and her fifteen-year-old granddaughter. She started to write young adult fiction with the help of her son, Gabe Thompson, who teaches middle school. Together they have written a number of award-winning YA novels in both science fiction and fantasy.
Elizabeth Fortin-Hindsknows kids well. She spent decades teaching teens and adults to write and improve their reading skills. As a literacy expert and certified coach, she helped both teachers from elementary to secondary and preservice graduate students learn to improve reading and writing instruction. She has taught at both the secondary and graduate level, everything from rhetoric, essays, and thesis statements, to poetry, short stories, and how to write a novel. She has learned to use both sides of her brain simultaneously, but enjoys the creative side the most, learning to play piano, draw and paint, and find time for her own writing since retiring from her “day” jobs.
A “true believer” in Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces, mythic structures, she uses that lens when considering manuscripts for Tell-Tale Publishing Group, a company she founded with some friends from her critique group a decade ago.
The book will be $0.99 during the tour
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Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVcMaGh7cng
Barnes & Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-young-adult-writers-journey-janet-schrader-post/1129903135
The authors will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.