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The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing, 3rd Edition by Writer's Digest Writer's Digest Editors

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Chapter Forty-Six

Know Your Young Audience

How to Write for Middle-Grade and Young Adult Readers

Mary Kole

To write riveting fiction for middle-grade (MG) or young adult (YA) readers, you must be willing to take a long, thoughtful hike in their shoes. What issues and plots will resonate with middle-graders? What themes and characters will keep teens glued to your pages? What genres are particularly popular, and what pitfalls should you avoid? To make your story authentic and relatable, you’ll need to figure out what makes your readers tick: what they think, how they feel, and what they consider most important. 

INSIDE THE MIND OF YOUR MG READER

When you’re an MG reader (age eight to twelve), you live in a world of contrasts:

  • You want to be loyal ...

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